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THE LIFE OF
EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH, D.D.
BISHOP AND POET
THE LIFE OF
EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
BISHOP AND POET
AUTHOR OF "PEACE, PERFECT PEACE,"
"YESTERDAY, TO-DAY AND FOR EVER"
BISHOP OF EXETER 18851900
FRANCIS KEYES AGLIONBY, M.A.
YICAR OF CHRIST CHURCH, WESTMINSTER
ONE OF HIS EXAMINING CHAPLAINS
WITH PHOTOGRAVURE PORTRAIT
AND 5 OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON
NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA
All rig-fits reserved
ELLEN S. BICKERSTETH
WITH THE AFFECTION AND
THE preface to a biography is oft-times little else
than an attempt to justify its publication. He
who writes the life of such a man as Bishop
Bickersteth need make no such apology. It is
quite another question how far a writer has been
successful in the portraiture which he has tried to
give. Whatever may be the value of this effort, it
is humbly offered as a grateful tribute to the
memory of a highly honoured servant of God, and
as a record for those who shall come after, of the
noble work which he did for the Church in his
generation. It would be an affectation were I to
profess to have given a detached view of one, the
fascination and the magnetism of whose personality
exercised so strong an influence upon those who
came within its range.
A biographer should speak from knowledge :
he must not have too much to say : he should not
say too much : he must let the subject of the book
speak for himself.
As one who had close and frequent intercourse
with Bishop Bickersteth for more than thirty years,
having been his Curate and one of his Examining
Chaplains, I am able to speak of him from personal
knowledge. His papers and correspondence have
been freely placed at my disposal by the members
of his family, who have rendered me every assist
ance in their power. My grateful acknowledgments
are also due to many others for their kindness in
contributing reminiscences and appreciations, to
gether with the use of letters.
And further, it is required of a biographer that
he should not have too much to say : he must not
be prolix. The readers of this book will judge for
themselves how far I have profited by the chorus
of warnings given me under this head from the
And again, a biographer ought not to say too
much : he must be discreet. Herein, too, none of
us can " see oursels as ithers see us." It is
difficult to hit the true mean, to know where to
stop or what to omit. Those who knew Bishop
Bickersteth will readily believe that there could be
few passages to soften down in what he spoke or
wrote. In some instances they are rare in which
he is quoted as speaking or writing in strong terms,
I have thought it best to leave the passages as
they stood. He never forgot the rule of charity.
This book is sent forth with the earnest prayer
that the great Head of the Church will vouchsafe
His abundant blessing in the accomplishment of
the purpose with which it has been written. Bene-
F. K. AGLIONBY.
September 1, 1907.
Parentage Eev. Edward Bickersteth Watton Life at the Rectory
Education Recreations Visits Early religious impressions
Cambridge Recollections by Prof. J. E. B. Mayor Remi
niscences of the Bishop by the Rev. E. B. Birks Degree Prize
poems Ordination Marriage 1
Banningham Parish work Hinton Martell Hampstead Recollec
tions Bereavements Personal influence Organization Visit
to America 16
Later years at Hampstead His eldest son goes to India Letters
Tour to India and Palestine Attendance at Church Congresses
Missions Clerical Friends in Council . 81
Deanery of Gloucester Nomination to the See of Exeter Farewells
at Hampstead Consecration Enthronement Confirmations
Ordinations Relations with his clergy The Cathedral The
Chapter Hospitality Church Congress 53
Home life at Exeter Letters Lambeth Conference Death of Bishop
Edward Bickersteth of South Tokyo Recollections Presenta
tion of portrait 79
Literary work " Yesterday, To-day and For Ever " Analysis of the
Poem Its Reception Other Verse The Hymnal Companion
Its Characteristics The Bishop on Hymnology " Prom Year
to Year" "Peace, perfect Peace" Commentary on the New
Testament The " Rock of Ages " " The Spirit of Life " " The
Master s Home Call" "The Shadowed Home" "The Feast
of Divine Love " " Thoughts in Past Years " 99
Missionary enthusiasm Visits to India and Palestine, 1880 To
Japan, 1891 Extracts from letters and diaries Mr. Eugene
Stock s notes on the Bishop s connection with the Church Mis
sionary Society 136
Resignation Diocesan Conference Resolutions Freedom of the
City of Exeter Removal to London Illness Death Tributes
COBBESPONDENCE ON ADDITIONAL VEBSE TO " LEAD, KlNDLY LlGHT " 198
ON THE UNFINISHED EDITION OF THE COMMENTARY 200
BBIEF NOTE ON BISHOP EDWARD BICKERSTETH, OF SOUTH TOKYO,
BY MB. EUGENE STOCK 204
PASSAGES FROM THE BISHOP S CHARGES OF 1888 AND 1895 . 206
Proposed Inscription for a Memorial Brass to the Bishop in Exeter
Cathedral . 214
INDEX . 217
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
PORTRAIT OP BISHOP BICKERSTETH .... Frontispiece *
Fro m a Painting by A. S. COPE, in tke potion of MR S. SiCK^T
CHRIST CHURCH, HAMPSTEAD, AND VICARAGE ... 22
EXETER CATHEDRAL AND BISHOP S PALACE .... 67
THE BISHOP WITH Two OP HIS GRANDCHILDREN, 1886. . . 78
EXETER CATHEDRAL AND PALACE-EAST VIEW . 98
WATTON CHURCH .
FACSIMILE OF HYMN " PEACE, PEEFECT PEACE."
PEACE, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin ?
The Blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed ?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.
Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus bosom nought but calm is found.
Peace perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus keeping we are safe and they.
Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown ?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.
Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.
It is enough ; earth s struggles soon shall cease.
And Jesus call us to heaven s perfect peace.
THE LIFE OF
E. H. BICKERSTETH, D.D.
BISHOP AND POET
Parentage Rev. Edward Bickersteth Watton Life at the Rectory
Education Recreations Visits Early religious impressions
Cambridge Recollections by Prof. J. E. B. Mayor Reminiscences
of the Bishop by the Rev. E. B. Birks Degree Prize poems-
"The generation of the faithful shall be blessed."
PSALM cxii. 2.
"The Child is father to the Man."
EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH was born on the
Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, January 25,
1825. His father was the Rev. Edward Bicker
steth, assistant secretary of the Church Missionary
Society, and his mother Sarah, eldest daughter of
Mr. Thomas Bignold of Norwich. They lived
in Barnsbury Park, Islington, then bordered by
fields which stretched away to the heights of
Highgate and Hampstead.
And here the beaten track of biographers must
be followed, since all who are interested in a career
are concerned to know such particulars as may be
summed up under the hackneyed terms, heredity
2 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
and environment. It is easier to exaggerate or
disparage these factors than to assign to each its
proper scope in the growth and development of a
character. Let it be granted, indeed, that per
sonality with its fundamental attributes comes in
every case direct from the hand of God, that what
ultimately decides a life is from within. But there
are also unmistakable tokens of "the divinity which
shapes our ends," both in the traits and tendencies
which are transmitted by a man s forefathers, and
in the circumstances which do so much to modify
character, and to give it direction, even where they
cannot determine it.
The branch of the Bickersteth family from
which the Bishop was descended, settled at Kirkby
Lonsdale in Westmoreland in the latter half of
the eighteenth century. Its descent can be traced
to Ralph Bickerstaff, high sheriff of Lancashire,
who fought under Henry Tudor at Bosworth
Field. Henry Bickersteth, the grandfather of the
Bishop, a surgeon at Kirkby Lonsdale in West
moreland, had a remarkable quartette of sons.
One of these was John Bickersteth, widely known
in his generation as a devoted clergyman, whose
sons were Edward Bickersteth, Dean of Lichfield,
and Robert Bickersteth, Bishop of Ripon. Another,
Henry, was Senior Wrangler at Cambridge in
1808. He became a barrister, and rising to the
Mastership of the Rolls, he was created Baron
Langdale. He refused the Lord Chancellorship.
Robert, the youngest son, became a surgeon of
eminence in Liverpool, and Edward, the Rector
of Watton, was father of the Bishop. It is
EARLY YEARS 3
impossible to dispose of such a career as that of
Edward Bickersteth, of Watton, in a paragraph
or two ; for his zeal and devotion and what he
made his home to become, had a powerful
formative influence upon the training of his son.
The soil in which a tree grows does not account
for the tree itself, but it has much to do with its
growth and with the flavour of its fruit.
Edward Bickersteth, the father of the Bishop,
began his career in the post-office in London, early
in the year 1800. Shortly afterwards he determined
to become a solicitor, and gave himself to the
duties of his profession with the utmost diligence
until his call to the ministry in 1815. For some
years previously he had carried on religious work
with great earnestness and success as a layman.
He was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Norwich,
and within a week, priest by letters dimissory at
Gloucester. He accepted the post of assistant
secretary to the Church Missionary Society and
was forthwith sent out by the committee to
inspect their missions in West Africa. Those who
selected him for such a work had judged rightly
of his qualifications, for besides the glow and
enthusiasm of missionary zeal, he had the know
ledge of men and of the world which a pro
fessional training of many years had given him.
He admitted the first of the society s converts
to the Holy Communion, and the experience
which he gained of the trials and difficulties of a
missionary life, as well as of the stifling atmosphere
of a heathen environment, did much to equip him
for the extraordinary services which he rendered
4 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
to the cause of missions during the remainder of
He entered upon his duties as secretary, residing
in Salisbury Square and superintending the train
ing of missionaries. He also ministered regularly
at Wheler Chapel in Spitalfields, and began work
for the society as a deputation, in almost every
part of England. The hearts of people opened
everywhere to him in a wonderful degree ; he
seems to have combined the fiery zeal of a Paul
with the sympathy and tenderness of a Barnabas.
In 1830 he was nominated to the parish of
Watton, in Hertfordshire, by John Abel Smith,
Esq., of Woodhall Park, whither he removed from
Barnsbury Park in the autumn of that year, and
where he spent the remaining twenty years of his
life. Besides the diligent work of a country pastor,
he supported a number of societies, amongst others
the Bible Society, the Society for Promoting
Christianity among the Jews, the Pastoral Aid
Society, and the Evangelical Alliance.
He also threw himself with great energy into
literary work, and his books, such as the Treatises
on Prayer and on the Lord s Supper, and his
hymnal, had a vast circulation.
Watton is a village of much quiet beauty, its
houses straggling along the old high-road from
London to the north through Stevenage and
Hitchin. The picturesque thirteenth - century
church nestles under the hill to the west, some
quarter of a mile away, with its massive tower
amidst trees which partly hide it from view. The
beautiful avenue of elms which now leads to the
EARLY YEARS 5
church, was planted by the Bickersteths soon
after they came to Watton.
The commodious old rectory stands a few yards
above the churchyard to the south-west. Edward
Henry Bickersteth was five years old when the
family moved thither. His physique was vigorous,
and his disposition remarkable for the buoyancy
and joyousness which he retained throughout his
He was nurtured from the outset in an atmo
sphere which was deeply religious and thoroughly
consistent. Precept and example were closely
interwoven in the lives of those who watched over
his opening years, and gave him his first im
pressions of eternal things. Truly in a sense
transcending Wordsworth s meaning of the words,
" Heaven lay about him in his infancy."
A glimpse of the home life at Watton Rectory
is given in some recollections, which were com
mitted to writing more than sixty years ago by
his younger sister Emily. 1 Edward, then about
fifteen, and another boy of his own age, the son
of a friend, were reading together for the uni
versity with a tutor. The rkgime, though quiet,
was one of great activity, the house being likened
to a bee-hive, so busily were its inmates occupied.
For them " life was real, life was earnest ; " there
was no stagnation, every one seeming to realize
that " still waters turn no mills."
The little narrative somewhat quaintly says
" At 5.30 every morning an alarum clock went
off, and roused Edward, who tumbled half asleep
1 Mrs. Durraut.
6 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
into his shower-bath, and soon roused his sisters
by vigorous knocks at their doors. In an hour s
time all were down stairs, the boys at work with
their tutor, the other members of the family astir
at their employments. The Rector himself spent
part of this time in a retired walk above the garden,
engaged in his devotions. At 7.50 he returned from
his walk and gathered his children into his study
where each one repeated passages from the Holy
Scriptures of their own choosing, some of them in
this way learning whole books of the Bible."
The Bishop himself recollected learning the last
twenty-eight chapters of Isaiah in his boyhood, and
very likely he did it in this way.
"Then their father prayed for them hi words
which his daughter has recorded. The whole
household assembled by 8 for breakfast, and there
followed at 8.30 family prayers, with a hymn, a
reading and exposition of Holy Scripture, the whole
being concluded by 9 o clock, when all dispersed to
their several occupations."
It was said that from the outset the members
of that household were taught to get good and to
do good, and one of them recalled a saying
of her father one day, as she was going out into
the village, and had asked, " Father, what can I do
for you ? " " Do all the good you can, my child."
The Rector had wide interests, and the daily
post, with tidings of movements, missionary, ecclesi
astical, social, educational, from all quarters,
together with the visits of many eminent and
eminently good men, kept the family circle in
touch with the outer world and gave a wider
horizon to its outlook.
EARLY YEARS 7
It must also be said that the views respecting
amusements and social life generally, then pre
valent among a great many religious persons in
England, were strongly held at Watton.
The lines were drawn then where few would
draw them now, and young people were warned
against pastimes, now thought to be good or
neutral in their character, as being hurtful to
souls, inconsistent with higher spiritual growth and
fruitful service in the Lord s vineyard. At the
same time the home life at Watton Rectory was
bright and even merry ; diversions and recreations
of a loftier character were encouraged which
afforded real refreshment in the intervals of busy
lives. Most of us to-day do not see eye to eye
with them in these things, but we may well believe
that such an attitude upon the part of many earnest
Christian people, however it might tend to provoke
a reaction in the succeeding generation, did more to
raise the standard of true religion in the world in
after days than would have been possible, had they
been more lenient with themselves and with others.
Young Edward Bickersteth was educated
entirely at home until he went to Cambridge in
1843. His tutor was the Rev. T. R. Birks, 1 a
young Fellow of Trinity of brilliant attainments,
who acted as his father s curate and subsequently
married his elder sister. The Bishop wrote of him
in after years, " I shall always esteem him as one of
the most original and clear-sighted thinkers of the
Church of England." To Professor Birks he owed
his first love for Plato and Milton.
1 Afterwards Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy.
8 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
As a boy he was very fond of out-of-door
pursuits, having a great love for animals, and
especially for horses. His sister writes :
" Of sports, as they are now understood,
Edward had but little in his boyhood, but of
healthful play a great deal. A lady in his father s
congregation gave him a magnificent Newfound
land dog, which became one of the great treasures
of the Kectory children, and Edward was seldom
without him in recreation time. Boating on a
small sheet of water in Mr. Smith s beautiful
grounds, where also he enjoyed skating in winter,
was another favourite amusement. He loved to
chase the deer, of which there was a fine herd,
from those parts of the park into which they had
trespassed from their own domain."
He was passionately fond of cricket and a bowler
in one of the Trinity Elevens. He retained his inte
rest in the game to the end of his life, and could
never pass a cricket-field without stopping to look on.
He frequently visited at the houses of his near
relations at Norwich and Liverpool, at Sapcote and
at Coppenhall. In 1841 the whole family went
with their father to visit his parents at Kirkby
Lonsdale, and whilst there young Edward came
to know the exquisite scenery of the valley of the
Lune and the lakes and the mountains of Cumber
land and Westmoreland. They occupied a house
known as Old Hall, which was placed at their dis
posal by Mr. William Carus Wilson of Casterton
Hall, a man widely known and beloved for his
Christian zeal and good works, and a lifelong friend
of the Bickersteth family.
Some letters from his father during these years
EARLY YEARS 9
have been preserved, and they are full of the
tenderest affection and the most outspoken
counsels. He was urged "to seek those things
which are above, and to aspire after the friendship
only of those who loved their Saviour." He was
warned not to spend too much time at chess, as
the recreations he ought to follow were those
which would keep him in strong health.
It is only with the most reverent reserve that
any may venture to draw aside the veil which
hides the workings of the spiritual life even in the
youngest child. Edward Bickersteth was the child
of earnest prayers from his birth, and his youth had
been carefully shielded from influences which might
contaminate. His parents held strongly the truths
which the Church teaches in her baptismal offices
as to the Christian covenant, its blessings and its
obligations ; but they belonged to a school of re
ligious thought which looked anxiously for tokens
that the soul had yielded its response to the love
of its Saviour. They longed and prayed for indi
cations that their child had apprehended that for
which all the baptized are apprehended of Christ
Jesus. And hence we find his father writing to
him in 1838, " Oh, my dear child, I do long to see
you heartily and wholly decided to serve God, the
only happy life for you, and I know that He will
help you, if you really ask Him." But before, in
1836, in a letter to his son s godmother, Lady Lucy
Whitmore, he wrote, "My dear boy gives me much
comfort ; I trust that we shall all receive (I include
yourself) a rich revenue for all the seed of prayer
sown for him."
10 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
How those prayers were answered it may be
permitted to tell from his own recollections. Be
tween fifty and sixty years after, he told a small
group of his chaplains at Exeter, as they conferred
together at the close of one of the Ember days, the
story of the supreme crisis in his own life. They
listened with mingled awe and emotion, as the
Bishop spoke of the struggles which found their
climax in the conscious surrender of himself into
his Saviour s keeping, and of the peace which came
to him thereupon. He had been reading a book
which had greatly helped him, Krummacher s " The
Prophet Elijah." It was on a Sunday afternoon
when he was about fourteen. He told how he had
sought his father the same evening, and made
known the joyful tidings. Very soon afterwards
he made choice of the ministry as his calling in life,
to which no doubt his father had dedicated him
It has been shown that he shared the tastes of
other healthy boys of his own age, and it would
appear, too, that he was inclined to be a little
masterful. As a corrective to this tendency, the
companionship of a boy of his own age seemed to
be desirable. Mention should be made of his devo
tion to his mother, who bore meekly and bravely
the affliction of serious deafness, whilst she did her
part nobly as wife and mother in a large household.
The sick room of his sister, Frances, also taught
him lessons of patient suffering and Christian sub
mission to the will of God. His little book, " Water
from the Well Spring," consists of meditations upon
passages of Holy Scripture, written for her. An
EARLY YEARS 11
account of her long illness and heroic endurance of
pain is given in a very remarkable book, " Doing
and Suffering," by one of her sisters.
He entered Trinity, Cambridge, in the autumn
of 1843. Some of his father s letters have been
preserved, but these give no direct information as
to the life of the young undergraduate. He rejoices
for his son in the friendship of William Carus, a
Fellow of Trinity, the biographer of Charles Simeon,
and Professor Scholefield, both leading Evangelicals
in the university at that time.
Edward Bickersteth s years at Cambridge were
characterized by diligence in work and irreproach
able fidelity to the religious principles in which he
had been nurtured, and which had become his own
by deliberate choice. No marvel if he were kept
unspotted from the world, if amidst the temptations
to young men in their college days "he held his
heavenward course serene."
His cousin, the Rev. J. E. B. Mayor, Professor
of Latin in the University, who was his contempo
rary, has kindly contributed some reminiscences of
their time at Cambridge. " E. H. B. as an under
graduate attended Professor Scholefield s evening
sermons at St. Michael s, and sometimes the meet
ings held by William Carus, Dean of Trinity, in a
room which he had built for the purpose, where
some hundreds of undergraduates might be seen on
Edward Bickersteth was intimate with many of
the best Trinity men of his time. At a party which
he gave just before leaving Cambridge he expressed
his grateful thanks to H. R. Luard (afterwards
12 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Registrary ), who had saved his life whilst swimming
in the Cam, at a spot nearer to Granchester than
the present bathing-shed.
Many have been the changes in Cambridge since
those days : the railway had not come, coals were
brought up by barge from Lynn, and fires were lit
with bundles of sedge bought from the bed-makers.
Although the round of studies was very narrow,
a striking proof of the tone and scholarship of the
Trinity men of 1847 appears in the wonderful copy
of verses written in Galliambics by Evans and
Vansittart for the tercentenary of Trinity College.
J. J. Blunt, W. H. Mill, and Corrie had
influence in the pulpit there, and Melville was
still occasionally heard.
Leslie Ellis, Senior Wrangler and editor of
Bacon, though almost a fossil bodily, was a great
spiritual force as he lay at Trumpington. Cole
ridge, Arnold, Julius Hare, Thirlwall, and S. R.
Maitland, a strong Protestant and strongly opposed
to Pusey and Newman, were largely read by
thoughtful men, as was also F. D. Maurice. The
chief men of science of the time, Stokes, Adams,
Sedgwick, Cayley, were all earnest Christians."
To these may be added a few recollections of
Edward Bickersteth himself, which have been
preserved by his nephew, the Rev. E. B. Birks,
formerly Fellow of Trinity, and Rector of Kel-
" Among his college friends, besides his future
brother-in-law, Joseph Fenn, were his fellow-
students in classics, Brook Foss Westcott, Evans,
EARLY YEARS 13
Vansittart, and Scott. Fenn was in the year
above him, graduating in 1846 ; Evans and Van
sittart were the Seniors in his own year, Scott and
Westcott in the year below him, and though he
himself took a third class, he was the chosen
associate of the highest classics of two successive
"Another of his friends was Rob Roy Mac-
gregor, the canoist and shoeblack s friend, known
at college by the name of a then noted religious
book, Allen s Decided Christian. Macgregor
was a Wrangler.
" Edward Bickersteth belonged to the Historical
Debating Society, and on one occasion he proposed
that Macaulay in his Essay on Bacon shews that
he understands neither Bacon nor Plato. The
late Lord Derby carried the somewhat tame
amendment that Macaulay understood Bacon but
Although a conscientious and industrious
worker, he was disappointed hi his class, being a
Junior Optime and a third classman in classics,
but his marked, and at that time unique, distinc
tion lay in another direction. He obtained ttye
Chancellor s Prize Poem for three consecutive
years, the subjects set being "The Tower of
London," " Caubul," and " Caesar s Invasion of
Britain." He writes of these in a preface to his
earliest volume of poems in 1849, "they have been
reprinted without alteration except the closing
stanzas, which the kindly banterings of divers
private critics have led me to peruse and slightly
Many years later, in a sermon preached in
Exeter Cathedral on the Diamond Jubilee of
14 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Queen Victoria, he recalled a scene of his Cam
" It was my privilege," he said, " as an under
graduate of Trinity, Cambridge, to be one of
those who laid down our gowns for her to tread
on, as she walked with graceful mirth and words of
thanks on her lips, the Prince Consort following in
her steps from the Master s Lodge to inspect our
College Chapel in the autumn gloom. She was
pleased to say that she had never received a
heartier welcome, and oh, how proud we all were
to have her under what we called our roof for
After taking his degree Edward Bickersteth
began his special preparation for Holy Orders in the
following year. And as with many whose ministry
has been greatly blessed by God, when the time
drew near the sense of responsibility pressed sorely
upon him. Of no sphere of duty is the saying,
"that fools rush in where angels fear to tread,"
more true than of the sacred ministry. That such
was the case with him appears from a letter of rare
tenderness and wise sympathy from his brother-in-
law, the Rev. T. R. Birks, to whom he had un
bosomed his grief. He had preserved this letter
with evident care for the rest of his life.
At length, on February 6, 1848, he was
ordained deacon by Bishop Stanley of Norwich.
On the following Sunday he preached his first
sermon at Watton to a crowded congregation,
from 1 Corinthians i. 30, " Who of God is made
unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and
redemption." A few weeks later his father wrote,
EARLY YEARS 15
4 On Thursday the 24th, at Norwich, I married
my dear and only son Edward to Rosa Bignold.
I have great joy in hoping that the marriage will
be full of blessing." Edward Bickersteth s wife
was his cousin, the daughter of Mr., afterwards
Sir Samuel, Bignold, at one time Mayor and
subsequently M.P. for Norwich. They removed
shortly afterwards to Banningham near Aylsham,
in Norfolk, to the curacy and sole charge of which
the young deacon had been licensed. The same
year he was admitted to the priesthood.
Banningham Parish work Hinton Martell Hampstead Recollec
tions Bereavements Personal influence Organization Visit to
" Give those that teach pure hearts and wise,
Faith, hope and love all warmed by prayer,
Themselves first training for the skies,
They best will raise their people there."
BP. J. ARMSTRONG.
THE young curate and his newly wedded wife
settled in at Banningham on March 11, 1848, as
we gather from an address on "the close of a
first ministerial year," which he printed in March,
1849. It was the substance of a sermon on the
words, "They watch for your souls as they that
must give account." It gives an ideal of the
ministry which he had set before himself from the
beginning, an ideal which grew and strengthened
throughout the half-century of his active career in
the Church of God, as deacon, priest, and bishop,
and which may be said to have haunted and
thrilled him to the very end.
A small manuscript book dated October, 1850,
gives in detail his methods of pastoral work. It
contains a list of the households in the parish, with
the names of the heads of each, besides the
name and age of every child in the family, with
notes of individual cases.
He divided the parish into four districts for
ministerial visitation, to which four days in the
week were devoted. By seeing from four to six
families a day, each district would be entered
every week, and the whole visited every month.
Then there came lists of families in the districts
to which he went from Tuesday till Friday in each
consecutive week. It was not a work entirely
novel to him, as in the flyleaf of the same book
there occur a few notes of visits amongst the poor
at Watton as far back as 1844.
The sermon to which reference has been made
strikes the note of a love to souls which all who
were ever thrown with him, felt to be deep and
intense. In accordance with the Evangelical preach
ing of those days, he addressed himself to three
classes of souls, those who were dead, those who
were awaking, and those who were living. The
dead who might be respectable and moral out
wardly, were bidden to remember the warnings of
God s Word. " To be carnally minded is death : "
not merely to act carnally, but to be carnally
minded. The awaking were bidden not to
stay in all the plain, not to look behind, but
with purpose of heart, to cleave unto the Lord.
The living were exhorted to be "separate from
the world, to walk closely with God, to be self-
denying, to be prayerful and to be united."
He had formed a prayer union ; the names
of its members are given in the little book, as are
also those of the communicants at the end of his
time at Banningham, thirty-five in all, twelve of
whom had begun to attend during his ministry.
18 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
He also gives a register of burials, some forty of
which had taken place during the three years and
a half of his residence in the parish, which certainly
betokens a very heavy death-rate and unsanitary
conditions generally. The number of baptisms
was thirty-six, nearly equalling the rate of deaths.
Not many letters descriptive of those years
have come down. His father writes from
Banningham in September, 1848 :
"We had a very happy Sunday yesterday.
The four parents and their two children met, and
we had the Lord s Supper in Banningham Church
with about twenty-five communicants. I preached
in the afternoon for the C.M.S., and in the evening
at Felmingham for the Jews, and go with Edward,
please God, to Cromer to-night and to Yarmouth
to-morrow. The most delightful thing to me was
to hear my dear son preach a very faithful sermon
on Luke xii. 32, and to be cheered by the hope
that the Lord will be gracious to him, as He has
been to his father, in blessing him to promote His
holy and happy Kingdom."
An extract from another letter of his father s
in the following year, shows how the requirement
for greater elasticity in the Church s services had
begun to be felt even in those days. It is of
interest, too, to note the way in which his pre
decessor but one as Bishop of Exeter, Henry
Philpotts, a doughty champion of Church Order,
"I do not think even the Bishop of Exeter
would quarrel with you for using the Litany alone
in Lent and giving a short sermon after it, though
I suppose nothing is fully canonical but the whole
service, inexpedient as it would be in a country
Few details of the home life at Banningham
have been preserved. Edward Bickersteth had
in his young wife a true help-meet in eveiy
department of his life and labours, a personality
of rare loveliness and sweetness, one who shared
to the full his ideals and aspirations. Their two
eldest children were born at Banningham, the
younger of whom, Edward, became the devoted
missionary Bishop of the English Church in South
In May, 1849, Edward Bickersteth went with
his father to the jubilee of the Church Missionary
Society in London, where a hymn which he had
written, " O Brothers, lift your voices," was sung.
He lived to hear it at the centenary of the Society
in 1899, as Bishop of Exeter.
In March, 1850, he sustained the loss of his
honoured father, towards whom his heart went
forth in the tenderest affection. He was compelled
to leave Banningham in the autumn of 1851,
through weakness of health, and removed to
Tunbridge Wells where he served as curate of
Christ Church for three months. This was his
first experience of preaching regularly to an
educated congregation, and his sermons made a
The following year brought him the nomination
to the Rectory of Hinton Martell, near Wimborne,
in Dorset, by Lord Ashley, the friend of his
father, and afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury. There
20 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
he carried on a devoted and diligent pastorate
during the next three years.
A prospectus or manifesto issued at the
beginning of the year 1854 gives as his watch
word : " He that is faithful in that which is least,
is faithful also in much, and he that is unjust
in that which is least is unjust also in much "
(St. Luke xvi. 16). "Ye ought to say, If the
Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that."
Public baptisms were to be administered on the
first Sunday in each month. Parents were re
quested to inform their minister, a few days
before a baptism, of the names of the God
parents. It was also particularly requested that
any persons coming to the Lord s Table for
the first time, or who had been absent twice,
except from illness, would see, or write to their
minister before they came.
Weekly lectures were held on Wednesday
evenings in the schoolroom, the first in each
month being devoted to a missionary subject, and
there was a prayer meeting at the Rectory on
Saturday evenings. During the winter months,
an adults night school and reading-room were
opened on three evenings in the week. The list
of books in the library is given ; it consisted
largely of books which appealed for the most part
to persons of thoughtful and serious minds.
He used to tell an amusing story of an old
parishioner at Hinton Martell. She was to come
to the Rectory for soup on alternate Fridays and
to send next Friday, and every other Friday.
She came on both Fridays and said, " Sir, I
thought you told me to come next Friday and
every other Friday," meaning all the others.
His eldest daughter l writes
" Among the recollections of my father are his
Bible stories on Sunday evenings to my brother
and myself, when we could not have been more
than four and five years old. He made the stories
live to us, with his vivid word painting and with
the help of two sets of beautiful pictures.
" His intense interest in Missionary work
always had the effect of making it very real to us.
Before I was six years old, I remember going with
him in his visits to the sick and poor and how he
was welcomed by them."
In 1852 his invalid sister, Frances Bickersteth,
whom he tenderly loved entered into rest. He
wrote to the sister who had nursed her for years
" Look not at the things which are seen the
transient and temporal but at the enduring and
eternal. Do this early for your own sake, for our
precious mother s sake, and above all for our
Saviour s sake, who is, perhaps, never so much
honoured as when His people are joyful in tribula
tion, and sorrow with a chastened but hopeful joy,
even as the rainbow clouds weep and brighten at
In a letter from Hinton Martell the following
year, the writer says
" This is a sphere in which the powers God
has given him are by no means buried. I am
often quite astonished at the influence which he
1 Mrs. F. M. Rundall.
22 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
has gained in the neighbourhood. The affection
of the people is a great joy and strength."
In the spring of 1855, he was asked to take
temporary duty at Christ Church, Hampstead,
which had just been given up by the Rev. the
Hon. J. T. Pelham, afterward Bishop of Norwich,
with a view to his appointment to the living. The
offer was made to him by the Trustees on June
llth, and a few days later he writes, " With a
crushing sense of responsibility, I have accepted
the living." Early in August he brought his
family to the large old-fashioned house in Cannon
Place, which was to be their home for the next
thirty years. From the garden in front of his
study window, there was a superb view over
London in fine weather to the Surrey Hills. To
the right, above a screen of trees, rose the graceful
spire of the church which was a landmark for
many miles around. His garden was a perpetual
source of pleasure to him. He planted apple trees
there and at each of his other homes, and was very
proud of his rhododendron, supposed to be the
largest single root in England. He used to say
that he had written most of his books " sitting
under the vine and fig tree of his own planting."
His eldest daughter thus continues her recollec
tions of their life at Hampstead.
" After my brother grew old enough to go to
school, our father read and talked about one of the
Proverbs of Solomon every morning after breakfast
for a few minutes, and then walked nearly as far as
the school with the boy. He also offered him a prize
CHRIST CHURCH, HAMPSTEAD : WITH VICARAGE, SHOWING STUDY.
for each chapter of the book of Proverbs he could
say by heart, and a larger prize when he should be
able to repeat the whole book.
"The happy summer holidays live in our
memory. He enjoyed all the pleasure so keenly ;
and we loved having him with us most of the day,
since, at home so busy was his life, that we often
saw but little of him from day to day.
" Five evenings in the week for many years, he
read aloud poetry to us for three quarters of an
hour after seven o clock. In this way we knew
much of Shakespeare, Milton, Southey, Words
worth, Longfellow, Tennyson, also parts of Byron,
Shelley, Keats, and Moore, good translations of
Homer, and portions of many other poets.
" He made a rule of reading aloud the leading
articles of the Times after lunch, and discussing the
men and events of the day. Then, too, his Bible
Classes were a weekly interest. First of course we
belonged to the children s, and after Confirmation
to the adult s class, in both of which we had
questions set us. We were expected to give in
carefully prepared answers, and these were returned
to us the next week, with pencilled criticisms at
"He drew many interesting people into our
home, both English and American ; well-known
clergymen who came to stay or to preach ; friends
such as John Macgregor, Bishop Thorold and
Bishop French, beside others who loved his books,
and wanted to meet the author. All alike were
much attracted by his vivid personality and my
mother s sweetness and grace.
"He could be stern upon occasion, but what
struck us, even as children, was his saintliness, and
his intensely bright and sunny nature. He often
said that he had three distinct enjoyments of most
pleasures ; anticipation, fruition, retrospect ; and he
24 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
constantly quoted the sayings Always sit on the
sunny side of the hill, and Never cross a bridge
till you come to it.
" He was a great traveller, and took my brother
with him to Norway and America ; and when we
were quite young, my brother and four of us went
to Switzerland with him.
"After I married and went out to India, he
wrote to me every week, until within two years
of his death, when through increasing weakness the
letters became shorter, and then were too great
a burden for his waning strength.
" His grandchildren were a very great pleasure
to him, and when my children had to be sent home
from India, he and my kind stepmother gave them
the happiest of homes for many years in the Palace
The Rev. E. B. Birks also contributes recollec
tions of the early home life at Hinton Martell and
Hampstead, which throw some side lights upon the
portraiture of it which has just been given.
" My own first recollections of my uncle are as
Rector of Hinton Martell, where I stayed with
him, with my father and mother. A little book
which he brought out then, " Sabbath evenings at
home," was the delight of my childhood. It was
in the form of dialogues between father and
children, showing how much positively is told
us of that other better world. He went with his
Churchwarden, Mr. Tatham, and my father to
Switzerland in 1856, the year of my mother s
death. My next recollections of him which are
prominent, are of his coming to Kelshall to give us
an account of what he had seen in Ireland of the
" It was in 1862 that I came under his roof to
attend Highgate School with Edward. Daily at
breakfast he read one of the Proverbs of Solomon,
and I think Trench on English Proverbs. Then
he started out with us and went part of the way to
school. The educative value of that daily walk
with him was not small. Wet or fine, if I
remember rightly, he came with us. In winter
it would be across the Vale of Health and by the
high - road ; in summer by the fields between
Traitor s Hill and Lord Mansfield s Park ; and he
taught us to delight in the beauty of the woods.
He would tell us also of his own University life.
"That summer there was an epidemic at the
school, and we were for a bit in quarantine at the
Vicarage, taught by him ; I remember his setting
us to put the beginning of the ^Eneid into English
verse and correcting my " 1 sing of arms and of
a man," to " Arms and a man I sing," and also his
giving us the exhortation in the Baptismal Service
to turn into Latin prose.
"In 1863, at the beginning of which year my
sister died, he prepared me for Confirmation. I
shall never forget the first instruction on Him
with whom we have to do. The same year we
went a party of five or six, including uncle and
aunt, to Scotland, the only tour I ever took with
" In my time with him at Hampstead he was
beginning to plan the Hymnal Companion and
to write the poem. The description of the angel s
wings in the latter, was suggested by some lovely
drawings which Mrs. Drummond, one of his
parishioners, had made from the birds of paradise
in the British Museum."
The home life during the years between 1855
and 1873 was interspersed with the births of
children and visits from the angel of death. His
26 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
aged mother, who lived with him, was called to her
rest in the autumn of 1859, after a brief illness.
Four years later, on the death of his babe, he
" How shall I write and tell you of our deep
sorrow ! The Lord has taken from us our sweet
blossom Eva Mabel. He called back to His home
of light the precious sunbeam which has gladdened
our pilgrim home for eight short months. She was
a perfect ideal of infant gladness. The Lord had
need of her above, and we had need of the heart-
deep teaching which nothing but this would give.
Pray for us that we may listen to every accent
of the still small voice."
Another heavy sorrow befell him in 1872, when
his third daughter, Alice Frances, a girl of exquisite
gifts and rare beauty of character, passed away in
her nineteenth year, after a prolonged decline.
The account which he wrote of her death, entitled
"The Master s Home Call," had a circulation of
many thousands of copies. But the deepest waters
he had ever known were yet to be traversed, for in
August, 1873, his devotedly loved wife was taken
from him, and he left desolate with a large young
family. But he himself was comforted of God,
with the same comfort which he had been the
means for so many years of conveying to others.
The change in 1855 from the cure of a few
hundred souls at Hinton Martell to three thousand
at Hampstead was very great, but he entered upon
his new work with zeal and enthusiasm. He
adopted all the ways then usual for ministering
to the needs of his people, and devised such means
as a loving ingenuity might suggest. Nor did a
pastor ever reap a richer harvest in the warm
affection of his flock. Services, classes, meetings
of all kinds were held, and movements set on foot
for Foreign Missions, Missions to the Jews, the
Irish Church Missions, the British and Foreign
Bible Society, the Evangelical Alliance, and the
Church Pastoral Aid Society. Soon after his
appointment he began open-air preaching on the
Heath, which he carried on so far as his voice
would permit. A friend 1 of those years writes :
"I remember perfectly well his coming to
Hampstead. Christ Church had only been built
some three or four years. He continued the Bible
classes for girls of the upper classes, which Mr.,
afterwards Bishop, Pelham had begun. About
that time Mr. Pennefather, then of Barnet, began
the Barnet Conferences, from which the Mildmay
and subsequent conferences were developed ; Mr.
Bickersteth organized a similar conference which
was held in the lecture-room, I think about 1861.
This room of corrugated iron was built from a
legacy left him by his wife s mother. There was a
half-hour s prayer meeting on Saturday mornings
at a private house, when matters private and
parochial were remembered, and requests for
" My chief recollection of Mr. Bickersteth was
of his great faithfulness as a friend and parish
priest. After my father s death in 1859 he used
to visit my mother almost once a week, and she
greatly prized these visits. The early part of his
incumbency was marked by the healing of a bitter
feud there had been in the congregation about the
1 Miss Maclnnes.
28 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
east window of the church, which had been given
by one of the members. To the five figures in the
window some of the congregation objected, and
after much painful discussion the stained glass was
taken out and the window left blank, but the
breach was not healed, as some who had formerly
been friends were not on speaking terms. Mr.
Pelham did all he could to bring them together,
but it was given to Mr. Bickersteth to put the
final touch of reconciliation. There was a great
sense of a well-organized parochial work, and of
this he was the mainspring."
He was a welcomed visitor in the homes of his
flock, both rich and poor, and would go at once to
those in trouble, "visiting the widow and the
fatherless in their affliction." Amongst those to
whom he ministered was Mrs. Tennyson, the
mother of the Poet Laureate. His own account
of her, written many years later, after the death of
her son, is given in a note below. 1
1 To the Editor of the " Times"
SIR, On the day of the funeral of our great poet your readers may
be glad of some memories which, for me, cling to the funeral day of his
mother. She spent the last years of her life at Hampstead, and it was
my privilege from time to time to visit her as her pastor. She died
there, and her son Alfred, though he came to the house, would not see
her tabernacle after her spirit had fled, saying to me, ( e My last
thoughts of my mother shall be as I saw her two or three weeks ago
sitting in that chair : that look is printed in my soul for ever." I con
ducted the funeral service at Highgate cemetery, and on our return
the family insisted on my spending the afternoon with them, and when
one present said, <( We must not look for any other resurrection ; her
spirit has returned to God who gave it, that is the true resurrection,"
Alfred Tennyson replied, (C I do not think that is the teaching of the
Scripture we heard read this morning in the chapel before we went to
her grave." His faith was anchored on the word of God.
As we sat round the table, thoughts awakened thoughts, and
reminiscence called forth reminiscence of their sainted mother. The
He also " rejoiced with them that do rejoice,"
for when a newly married couple from his congre
gation came home after their wedding-tour, it was
his custom to take family prayer for them on the
evening of their return. His wedding-present was
generally a family Bible. He was prompt in
calling upon those who had recently come to the
neighbourhood, and bidding them welcome as their
He had a genius for bringing people together
and inspiring them with the desire to work in
different ways. The churchwardens and sidesmen
with other leading members of his congregation
rallied to his support, not alone in matters which
concerned the church with its services and the
Parish, but in many outside objects, such as
hospitals, refuges, asylums, dispensaries, besides
those which have been already mentioned. So
large was his band of district visitors that a
number of them were led to offer themselves to
work in large overcrowded districts near by, such
as Gospel Oak. The Sunday Schools were carried
on with conspicuous success by a band of able
and devoted superintendents and teachers. The
charm of his personality made itself felt amongst
persons of high intellectual culture in the midst
poet s heart most of all overflowed with admiration and affection.
And when at length I rose to leave them, he came alone with me to
the hall and said, " Mr. Bickersteth, I hope you will not think I
have spoken in exaggerated terms of my beloved mother ; hut indeed
she was the beautifullest thing God Almighty ever . did make." I
could only wring his hand and say farewell.
E. H. EXON.
THE PALACE, EXETER,
October 10, 1892.
30 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
of whom "he approved himself as the Minister
of Christ," drawing their minds to higher things.
In cottage and mansion alike, his presence was
in some measure as " the shadow of Peter passing
by," which shed a holy influence about it. His
radiant face and gentle, cheery words won him an
entrance everywhere, for he had much of the
power which comes from the calm of a close walk
The outstanding events in his life at Hamp-
stead during these years were his " Commentary
on the New Testament," the writing of his poem,
" Yesterday, To-day and Forever," and the prepa
ration of " The Hymnal Companion." In the year
1870, after the Hymn-book had gone to the Press,
he went with his eldest son to America, where his
poem had been very widely read, and his greeting
on their side of the Atlantic was such as only
Americans know how to give. His welcome was
an ovation, and he had delightful intercourse with
the poet Longfellow, Dr. Ray Palmer and other
men of note in literary circles. But what filled him
with joy and thankfulness were the numerous
testimonies that his poem had been blessed of
God to the consolation of many souls, as well as
to the winning of not a few to the faith of Christ.
What might have been too much for many a good
man only deepened his humility, whilst it rejoiced
Later yeai-s at Hampstead His eldest son goes to India Letters
Tour to India and Palestine Attendance at Church Congresses
Missions Clerical Friends in Council
" Christian saw the Picture of a very grave Person hang up against
the wall ; and this was the fashion of it. It had eyes lifted up to
Heaven, the best of Books in his hand, the Law of Truth was
written upon his lips, the World was behind his hack. It stood as if
it pleaded with men, and a Crown of Gold did hang over his head."
Pilgrim s Progress.
* Those fallen leaves which keep their green
The noble letters of the dead." In Memoriam.
THE Vicar of Christ Church, Hampstead, had for
some years been called upon to undertake a great
deal of work outside his parish. He took part in
parochial missions, addressed devotional gatherings
of the clergy, conducted Quiet Days, read papers at
Church Congresses, served on committees and sub
committees at the C.M.S. and other societies. His
own bishop often summoned him with other leading
clergy in the diocese to conferences on diocesan
He was the first to introduce Retreats and Quiet
Days amongst the clergy and laity of his own school
of thought. Although a convinced Evangelical
throughout his career, his sympathies went out to
earnest and devoted men of other views. He
32 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
agreed to differ on relatively minor points with
those who did not see eye to eye with himself, but
with whom he felt at one on the fundamental
truths of the faith. No one ever echoed more
heartily St. Paul s words, " Grace be with all them
that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." He
was wider, too, than many of his Evangelical
brethren in the Church of England in his views as
to the oneness of all Christian people, and as to the
forms in which this unity might be expressed.
Thus he held to the last his father s attitude
towards the Evangelical Alliance, and he was never
ashamed of his opinions nor did he shrink from
uttering them, albeit with meekness, when the
occasion seemed to require it. His was the
staunch Protestantism which maintained that
Missions should be sent to Roman Catholics in
Ireland and elsewhere. He held it to be the
duty of those who had the fuller and purer light
of the Reformation to diffuse it amongst those
that had it not. And the Roman Catholics them
selves would own that herein he was consistent
and that he acted on the very principles which
determine their own work everywhere. They
respected him for it. He could not admit that,
whilst they were constantly raiding our flocks, it
was anything but right to make reprisals.
In February 1876 he married his cousin, Ellen
Susanna, daughter of Mr. Robert Bickersteth of
Liverpool, who became the devoted companion
and helper of his remaining years.
In the year 1877, his eldest son, who was a
Fellow of Pembroke, Cambridge, went out to
India as the founder and first head of the Cam
bridge Mission to Delhi. And never did father
give up a more deeply loved son to God s work.
During the four years of his residence in India,
Edward Bickersteth received weekly letters from
his father, which he carefully preserved. These
letters reveal the inmost soul of the writer, and
the difficulty has been to select where wealth of
material exists in such profusion. Utterances of
trust in God, of fervent supplication for his son
and the work in which he was engaged, fatherly
advice and requests for counsel on his own behalf,
constantly recur, and must be taken for granted
although not expressed in the extracts from the
letters of those years.
He writes, November 21, 1877
" The Rev. Henry Wright s stirring appeal for
St. Andrew s Day makes me resolve to double my
contribution on that day for this year of need,
and I am glad it should be the first year that my
beloved son is numbered with the blessed Mis
sionary band of Evangelists. French is to be the
preacher at St. Dunstans. I rejoice in his being
your Bishop. I feel sure he will prove an elder
brother to you.
" I am asked to address 100 clergy in Leeds at
their Quiet Day in Ember Week."
" December 2.
" I can now, as I told my flock last Sunday,
testify that there is joy, even a holy hilarity, in
acts of self-denial for iChrist s sake. * God loveth
a cheerful giver.
" The Record has singled me out as one that
patronized Retreats. I have written to them :
34 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Protestant and Evangelical Retreats I heartily
advocate ; Romanizing Retreats I heartily depre
cate. I dislike all newspaper correspondence
exceedingly, but it was an occasion for urging
our true-hearted Evangelical leaders and fathers-
in-God, to put themselves at the head of this
Retreat movement which no one can stop, for
it supplies a felt need."
" Bishop French and Bishop Titcombe were
consecrated to-day in Westminster Abbey. Is it
not a gracious providence that these Bishops for
India should be set apart on St. Thomas Day?
Oh, that they may be apostles in the power of
Christ ! "
" December 25.
" I am greatly feasting on Baldwin Brown s
The Higher Life. It is really one of those first-
rate books which live in you, and in which you
live. You say W. talks of converts being allowed
to work on Sunday to keep them out of idleness.
Surely this must have been foreseen when God gave
the Fourth Commandment, or when God gave
again to man what he had given in Eden. I do
feel so thankful for what you say, that it is the
saintliness of his servants which God especially
uses, even more than the power of argument,
needful as this is.
" January 11, 1878.
" Thank God, solitude and service alike draw
us to the Master. He is our life."
Of preaching away, he says, " I greatly prefer
preaching six sermons to one flock, to preaching
one in six different churches, for after awhile you
get en rapport with your hearers."
thoughjie says he
most noble s monnhis chi P? a
that t which hasa puff
for nearly forty years." to me
weight to the
1 Afterwards Bishop of Winchest
36 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
prayer, I must solemnly believe in eternal punish
ment, but in what it consists is the question." . . .
"Tokens of success humble one even more than
" March 8.
" I was asked to address clergy at Windsor ;
it would be unfortunate if Evangelical clergy do
not take up this important work. I was helped
to speak to their hearts. Amongst my auditors
for the first address was Canon Carter of Clewer,
who had come with great difficulty, having to
preach at a distance.* He came into the vestry
and was most cordial. You remember my old
favourite simile that if you wish to convey an
electric shock to another through yourself, you
must first take hold of the electric bar with one
hand, and of your brother with the other."
" I spoke to about seventy clergy at Liverpool
in the afternoon for nearly an hour, on * the love
of Christ as the motive power for evangelistic
and pastoral work. I do think there was a real
power of the Blessed Spirit resting upon us. Mr.
Bardsley 1 told me he saw some he should have
thought rather hard and rigid, quite moved even
to tears. May God water the seed sown."
" I rejoice to hear of Mr. Hunter being sent to
you by the S.P.G. from Calcutta, while the C.M.S.
take some of his work there. A blessed interchange
between the two orders as French calls the
C.M.S. and S.P.G. I do hope that Mr. Hunter
will be to you the Epaphroditus you so sorely need
at this time."
1 Afterwards Bishop of Carlisle.
" The Bishop designate of Lichfield, 1 asked me
to give one of the addresses on his last Quiet Day
with his own flock, and which he resolved to have
to-morrow. I will take with them my subject of
last Sunday. * I will not leave you comfortless.
I think Whit Sunday must be the most precious
of all festivals to a Missionary."
On August 3, he writes from Switzerland :
" It was a most lovely day coming across the
Brunig Pass. It was so strange last night ; there
is a large party of Americans here, and I had an
earnest request from them that I should read aloud
to them in the salon, selected passages from my
poem. As I found it would give them real
satisfaction, I consented. They had most of them
read the book in America, and were strangely
pleased to meet the writer."
" Leukerbad, August 18.
" Since I last wrote to you that hurried note
from Miirren, M. and I travelled nearly 2000
miles to Liverpool and back; but it was worth,
indeed, amply worth all, for you know how such
hours of meeting round a beloved parent s a grave
knit more closely than ever the hearts of loving
brothers and sisters, and they did all feel it a
special proof of love, our coming so far. We
heard so much of the holy peace of our mother s
last days, that it was a great comfort ; and
for her we do indeed feel that the Great and
Good Shepherd has taken His honoured and
faithful servant, now wearied out with her long
pilgrimage, to His bosom of rest."
1 Dr. Maclagan, afterwards Archbishop of York.
2 Mrs. Bickersteth of Castertou Hall.
38 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
" September 6.
"About the Evangelical view of the Lord s
Supper, though of course some few hold unworthy
views, I have been so accustomed from my child
hood to hear my blessed father speak of it as the
loftiest privilege of holding tryst with Christ, in
the spirit of Eph. iii. 14-17, Rev. iii. 20, that I
confess all distinctively High Church views have
seemed to me poor and thin in comparison. But
I doubt not, we have all to learn each from the
Writing of his recent appointment as Rural
Dean of Highgate he says
" September 13.
" It is not a post I should have coveted, but
it is a position of influence, for the Bishop really
tries to work his diocese through his 25 Rural
Deans. My idea is to make a great effort to
persuade all the Clergy of the Deanery to meet
on Quiet Days here, at least once in the year.
" October 11.
" We have had our Retreat. A most delightful
three days. Carpenter 1 was wonderfully helped.
So clear, so searching, so tenderly eloquent."
About the Church Congress he says
" It often amazes and confounds me, that I
should be apparently called to speak to others, and
so I fear, lest my self-assertion should have led them
to form erroneous estimates of the brother they
invite to address them. Only may the good Lord
spare the hand that dares to touch His holy ark ;
only may He bless the words spoken in feebleness,
and clothe them with the might of His Spirit.
" I was helped at Sheffield. The meeting was
1 The Rev. W. B. Carpenter, afterwards Bishop of Ripou.
solemn even to holy awe. The good Archbishop
grasped my hand twice as 1 retired from speaking,
and thanked me with warm emphasis." " I have
to prepare twelve addresses for the Clifton Quiet
" November 1.
" I fear you have been working too hard ; that
is, remember, living on capital ; now if so, you
must repay the loan in shape of extra exercise and
rest, and as a rule, rigidly live within your income
of strength and living energy. You have as a wise
steward (D.V.), to lay out your whole life for the
best of Masters in the noblest of fields."
" December 6.
"The Bishop of London wrote last night,
asking me to undertake so far as I could, dear
Maclagan s work among the candidates for Priest s
Orders at his next ordination, and I suppose his
future ones. It is an anxious responsibility, and
as I have written to him I shall be with him in
weakness and fear, and in much trembling, for 1
think, never is man s mind more ductile, and
susceptible of lasting impression, than at ordina
"January 10, 1879.
" I am reading with deep interest Thomas
Erskine s. letters, of Linlathen, but he is a confirmed
universalist, and I am sure does not give so full
weight to the mass of Scripture on the other side,
and I fear the book will do harm as well as good."
On January 18, 1879, he writes as follows to
one of his sons, 1 at that time in a merchant s
" There is a nobility in merchandise, as we read
of Tyre, the Crowning City, whose merchants are
1 The Rev. H. V. Bickersteth, Rector of Falmer.
40 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
princes, and whose traffickers are the honourable of
the Earth (Isaiah xxiii. 8.) And this, however,
is crowned with new glory when all the tribute is
laid at Christ s feet.
" Integrity and intelligence seem the two
moral foundation-stones of success. And the racy
proverb is some help, * Drive your work and do not
let your work drive you.
To his son at Delhi :
"February 14, 1879.
"We had a most blessed Quiet Day last
Thursday at St. Paul s. A most excellent, touch
ing, heart-searching address from our Bishop,
chiefly on the dangers which beset all ministerial
work, his own as a Bishop, and ours as Parish
Priests. I do not know when I have felt Christ
so near, or God s eye so clearly resting on one s
life and work. Then the quiet for prayer, with
so many hundreds of clergy praying round, was
very impressive Dear Bishop Thorold s words
in the afternoon, on " Thy will be done (Thy will
by us, in our works : Thy will in us, as holiness :
Thy will for us, as unity) were very powerful,
more finished and ornate, and balanced, but much
less pathetic than our Bishop s. Still the whole was
most profitable, most subduing, most humbling.
I did feel thankful again and again, that it sprang
first from your suggestion to me and Wilkinson. 1
" March 14.
" I enjoyed Birks last book, " Supernatural
Revelation." God has certainly given him a mar
vellous power of unravelling sophisms. This he
always could do most unsparingly, but I think this
volume reveals a chastened maturity of Christian
1 Afterwards Bishop of St. Andrews.
judgment, befitting one whose warfare is drawing
to its close.
" I have begun Wilberforce on the Incarnation,
and I am sure I shall be deeply interested in it,
though I do not expect to find a response in myself
to all his statements. But it is indispensable to
walk all round the mountain of truth, and not to
be content with one aspect only nay, we must
climb as high as we can, on every pathway of access.
There will ever be snowy summits piercing the
golden sky far above us. When we are caught
up to meet the Lord in the air, we shall be able to
embrace, I suppose in one wide panorama, all those
upland slopes and peaks to which we look up now,
but even then there will be, and must be, to limited
intelligences, an immeasurable * beyond.
" March 21.
" I was delighted to get Bishop Lightfoot s
letter, and that he should be so firmly * resolved to
take the Delhi Mission with him to Durham is
such a great mercy."
" May 16.
" We are to have our first Ruridecanal Meeting
on June 4th. The morning will be devotional, and
I address them on The Pastor in his Study and
among his Flock. The subjects in the afternoon
will be Church Defence, and Church Missions. I
wish I could have you by my side on such a day.
But it is still a greater privilege to have you in the
high places of the field of battle. I am delighted
with Godet s Biblical Studies, and sent him my
poem the other day to Neuchatel, as so many of
our thoughts are on the same theme."
After writing of the Gospel of the Resurrection
which he had been reading again, he asks
42 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
" June 13.
"Did I tell you that Dr. Vaughan l said to me that
Westcott was staying with him at the time of Light-
foot s consecration ; and Vaughan said to Westcott,
* Now, friend, do tell what is the difference betwixt
you and Lightfoot ? and Westcott answered, Well,
Lightfoot is never content till he has made a subject
definite, and I can never be content till I have
made it indefinite. Dr. Vaughan said to me that
he thought it was very true, and that both cha
racteristics were of intrinsic value, for all truths
needed definition for practical application, and yet
as touching on the eternal they were beyond us to
define ; and this we must recognise, if we would
know the reality of things. All these thoughts
seemed to me worthy of the men.
" We have had a heavy loss to the Church in
Miss Havergal s death. It was only two or three
months ago that she stopped me in Elm Row with
such a warm and hearty greeting, and now she has
proved her own words
" I could not do without Thee,
For years are fleeting fast,
And soon in solemn loneness
The river must be pass d ;
But Thou wilt never leave me,
And though the waves roll high,
I know Thou wilt be near me,
And whisper, " It is I."
"She was only forty-two, and I believe she
" Jesus I will trust Thee, trust Thee with my soul. "
"I have arranged with Rivingtons to publish
my poem, < Yesterday, To-day and For Ever, for
Is. and 2s. 6d, in the same form as their Christian
1 Afterwards Dean of Llandaff.
Year, though they are not to give me any profits
till 10,000 of the Is. and 3,000 of the 2s. 6d. are
sold, which N. thinks will be when we are in our
graves. But if it brings the truth before many
hearts of the middle class, and if God bless it to
any, it will be an overflowing recompense.
" How I wish the damnatory clauses could be
excised (i.e. from the Athanasian creed) it would
be a grand song beginning, We worship one God
in Trinity. But if this cannot be done, I would,
as the Irish Church has done, simply leave it in
the Prayer Book as a standard of the true faith,
expunging the rubric for its use in the congregation."
" I saw Mr. Speechley and Mr. Ridley (Bishops
elect) yesterday. I do trust that they and dear
W. W. How and Dr. Barclay will have a rich
blessing to-day. What a picture of the wide-
stretching English Church ! Their consecration is
to Travancore, Columbia, Jerusalem, and East
London. What an unspeakable mercy it is to be
a member of this grand old Church, the noblest
witness for Christ in the world ! "
" Penmaenmawr, August 28.
" Dean Howson wrote yesterday again, begging
me to go with him and Canon Tristram and Dean
Fremantle to Palestine next January, but I do not
see my way, hoping some day to see it on my
return from a visit to you. . . . By the way, in the
Missionary Hymn sent you last week, please for
swarthy sons of Afric, read ransomed. I
thought afterwards, if the hymn found its way to
Africa, her sons might resent being described by
the colour of their skins. I like your hints given
to your devotional meeting, How to take Christ
with you through the day.
44 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
" Did I tell you we were actually going to try
daily service, morning and evening, in Christ
Church, beginning with All Saints Day? And
possibly we shall arrange for the church to be open
for some hours every day for private prayer, and
always have an early communion every Sunday
beside the others. Now that the altar is built and
the wood laid, only may the Divine fire of the Lord
fall from heaven ! My flock, on the whole, has
taken to the proposal most kindly, but I suspect it
needs to educate a generation up to daily services."
" November 7.
" I feel deeply what you say as to the baptism
of the low caste, not immediately touching the
Mohammedans and Hindoos. Still, every convert
is a point of light, a point of contact with heaven.
If we could gaze on the population of Delhi and its
outskirts, from an angelic point of view, and may
we not truly say, a Divine point of view, every true
Christian is a Lot in Sodom to His eyes, who is
the Father of all. Ministering spirits attend every
* December 12.
" I preached last Sunday in St. Peter s, Eaton
Square, to a congregation of nearly 2000 people.
Bishop Maclagan has asked me to take two Quiet
Days for his clergy on March 3rd and 4th. He gives
his charge on March 2nd, and then his wish is that
all the clergy of the Lichfield Diocese * should be
on their knees before God together. He wants to
gather them at three or four centres. Bishop
W. W. How addresses those at Lichfield, and he
asked me to take either Wolverhampton or Derby.
I shrink very much from the undertaking, but
have after all (D.V.) consented to take the Derby
" December 19.
" I am glad to have written those notulae (i.e.
in the annotated edition of the Hymnal Com
panion), as some things which passed through my
hands, and which no one else knows, may interest
some who dive into hymnology.
" I am glad you will have had the opportunity
of meeting Lord and Lady Lytton. Though these
days seem aside from work, I believe they really
are threads of another colour, which are woven into
life s strange tissue, and necessary for its harmony
"March 22, 1880.
" You have been more than ever on my heart
the last two days, for I have found out incidentally
that a small committee had now been formed of
my flock, to present me with a testimonial of the
twenty-fifth anniversary of my ministry next month.
Mr. Tatham hinted that there was such a project
floating in their minds whether a purse, which
would lighten my expenses if I took a journey to
the East, would be a form acceptable to me. The
present from the congregation to me for such an
object would remove two of the greatest difficulties
in the way of my going: (1) the expense, and (2)
the leaving my flock behind. It would be the
greatest joy this side heaven to get to you or to
have you get to me."
The testimonial was presented on May 7th.
" We had a very interesting and deep dis
cussion on the Atonement, at our Clerical
Friends in Council. I am sure we fail to grasp
the full comfort of the grand central truth en
shrined in Isaiah liii. No less than ten times
are Christ s sufferings and death there connected
46 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
with our sins. I anchor my soul on Isaiah liii.
5-10 ; John i. 29 ; Rom. v. 21 ; 1 John ii. 6, and
I feel no subtleties of reason can shake the security
of this salvation. I am sure it is the most central
truth of the Gospel, and the most central star of
"July 23, 1880.
"We had our important consultative meet
ing on Tuesday night about the Church Restora
tion. A large number came, and there was
considerable discussion, some strongly deprecating
any decoration. Still, I think four-fifths of those
present were for the plans submitted to them. I
am sure it is right, that the church should shew
in every part of it signs of the loving and reverent
care of God s people for His house."
He writes on the subject of the appointment
as Secretary to the C.M.S. of a successor to his
very dear friend the Rev. Henry Wright, " I
have been asked if I would accept it." After
discussing the reasons for and against it he says,
"It is curious that I should be even named, just
fifty years after my blessed father vacated it upon
his appointment to Watton in 1830."
The plans for his tour had been made, and
he writes : " I hope that my cursory glimpses of
India and Palestine may be of some help in
after years as a member of the Church Missionary
The long expected tour to India and Palestine
was begun in October, when he and his wife, with
a party of friends sailed from Liverpool in the
Rydal Hall on the 23rd of that month. Some
account of their travels will be found in the
Chapter dealing with his work for Missions.
On May 22nd, 1881, he wrote
"You will be devouring the new Revision
as we are. It seems to me invaluable as a
commentary, and as an expression of the ripest
judgment of modern scholars as to readings and
translations ; but the English is in many parts
so bald and rough that it would never do to
substitute it for our present revision without the
most extensive recension."
" I must now (D.V.) preach a series of sermons
on the Lord s Supper, and thus get on with my
little manual for Rivingtons. And I find it an
essential help always to preach on a subject on
which I wish to write. It seems to bring you into
contact with Him whose messenger you are, and
so give a warmth and glow to words which would
otherwise be cold, if clear. A sermon ought to be
so different from an essay."
" September 23, 1881.
" You know I shrink as much as you do from
high Calvinism. It seems opposed to the heart
of the God and Father of us all. And yet I think
we must not forget, how some of the grandest
of men have been bred in schools that laid more
stress on the sovereignty than on the creative love
of God ; men from St. Augustine down to the
Puritans, and lower down to our own time, con
quering self and the world. They have grasped
one truth, Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that
did He in heaven and earth. And any real truth
is so precious and so strong that, though weighted
with many, however untrue inferences, it may
accomplish a mighty work for God. The Puritan
48 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
stock of New England have been America s
Of the Newcastle Congress he writes
"October 14, 1881.
" My paper on music was well received, and
I was warmly congratulated on it both by Beresford
Hope and Mr. Randall of Clifton. But I am sure
the whole tone of the Congress was higher than
any I have hitherto attended, more courtesy, more
spirituality, more true to our Reformed Church.
At Edward Hoare s request, I sent up my card
on the devotional day, and was asked to speak
first after the readers. The subject was The
Helps and Hindrances to the Spiritual Life from
the Activities of the Day. Mr. Body came up
afterwards and most heartily thanked me. The
Archdeacon of Ely begged me to conduct a Quiet
Day for the Clergy there next Lent, which I think
I may be able to do. Came home via Liverpool
for a quiet Sunday, and spoke to the Manchester
Clergy at their Quiet Day at Alderley, Dean
Stanley s birthplace."
" I quite felt what you say about H. s danger
of going too far in the direction of admiration
of what is true in Mahometanism. Not that we
can ever admire the truth too much, but when
men hold down the truth (Rom. i. 18) in un
righteousness, it does not do to praise the truth
they hold, without a faithful exposure of the un
righteousness, the injustice which throttles it
and holds it down. I shall be so glad if you can
help him to a juster equilibrium of view."
" November 11, 1881.
" I have been glad of two days in the house for
getting on with my book on the Lord s Supper.
I fear it will be longer than it ought to be. It is
hard to say what one wants to say in few words.
That is the use of poetry, of which the main
characteristic always seems to me to be * condensed
The return of his eldest son from India, in
valided by fever, the following year, brings this
correspondence to a close. It reveals the character
of the writer whilst indicating the enlarged sphere
of his activities. These continued to increase
during the three years which elapsed before his call
to the Episcopate. At Nottingham, Cheltenham,
Sunderland, Wigan, Oxford, Sheffield, and other
places, he spoke to the hearts and consciences of
great numbers of people, many of whom owe their
beginning to lead different lives to these missions.
The allusions in his letter to the Clerical
Friends in Council should be explained. A few
years before, some leading clergy of different
schools of thought had agreed to meet and discuss
with prayer the subjects which they were wont
to regard from divergent points of view. It was
felt that such intercourse would tend to draw
closer to each other those who loved God and
His truth, that it would promote brotherly kind
ness, and tend to soften prejudice. The Bishop of
St. Andrew s writes :
" How tenderly he healed all disputes and joined
in every effort, like our Clerical Friends in Council,
which was intended to bring peace to the Church.
I remember so many instances in which this Christ-
like spirit was manifested."
Not a few of the original members of the Society,
50 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
like himself, became Bishops, and one of the Secre
taries used to say that Mr. Gladstone must have
got hold of the list of members for his appointments
to bishoprics and deaneries.
The Bishop of London made Mr. Bickersteth
one of the members of the small Committee of
Clergy who were intrusted with the organization of
the great Mission for London in 1884-5. His
tact, his soundness of judgment, and his ability as
an organizer were such that Bishop Jackson
brought his name before the Prime Minister, as
one of those who were fitted for higher ministries
in the Church.
Thus at sixty, a period in these days of feverish
activity, when men who have laboured long in
other callings begin to think of putting off their
armour, he girded up his loins for the work of
a Bishop in the Church of God, a work which he
was to carry on for fifteen years. Thus were the
words fulfilled, " To him that hath shall more be
given," and he had learned at the Mercy-seat how
to gain "power with God and with man."
The retrospect of his life at Hampstead, from
his own point of view, is well described in the
ensuing passage from the farewell sermon to his
congregation, in Christ Church, which he preached
on Sunday, March 15, 1885 :
" The first sermon I preached in this pulpit at
the end of April, 1855, was from the words of our
Lord, I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will
draw all men unto Me, and I can truly say my
one desire has been to preach Christ among you,
for He was my life, and I knew He must be yours.
Would to God that I had preached Him with
more faith, and power, and love !
" But I have tried to preach Him and Him
only. And His promise has been verified : many
souls have been drawn to the foot of His cross,
and His dear servants have fed on the bread of life.
" As I look back upon the thirty years which have
passed like a dream, scene after scene rises before me ;
the counsel and co-operation of my fellow-labourers
in the Gospel ; the kindness with which you have
always admitted me to your homes in the most
sacred seasons of sorrow and of joy ; your sympathy
with me in like manner when grief has shadowed
or blessings gladdened my home ; the confiding
trustfulness with which you have sought counsel of
me in the things of God, and especially in the
training of your children ; the mutual comfort we
have had in our schools, boys and girls , and infants
schools, our sailors orphans, our weekday and
Sunday schools ; the refreshment of our Bible
classes, children s and adult classes, when our hearts
have so often burned within us, while Jesus Himself
drew near, and opened to us the Scriptures ; and
then our confirmations, when so very many have
joined themselves to the Lord in a covenant which
was never afterwards broken ; our prayer meetings,
our communicants meetings how many can testify,
It has been good to be there ; our united efforts
for the home and foreign missions of our Church,
for the recovery of the outcast and the lost, and for
the world-wide diffusion of the Word of God, and
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ oh, it has been good
to have been encircled with such a band of men
and women and children, whose hearts God has
touched with the holy fire of the Saviour s love !
and chiefest of all, our services in this house of
prayer, which you in your generous kindness so
beautifully restored, and our gatherings round the
Table of our dear Lord and Master.
52 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
"The retrospect passes like a diorama before
the mind s eye, and it is gone; but it engraves
more clearly than ever on the tablet of my soul
the words of the patriarch, I am not worthy of
the least of all the mercies and of all the truth
which thou hast shewed unto Thy servant.
" Nor is it only those who are with us to-day :
how many have gone forth from our congregation ;
some to distant homes in our own land ; and not a
few to foreign lands, where they are faithfully
serving Jesus ; and I cannot, I would not,
especially on this day, when in a thousand churches
England is thinking of her soldier hero and martyr
forget the saints indissolubly one with us who
have passed from our embraces on earth to the
society of glory. Oh, brothers and sisters in Christ,
what a company is gathering there around the
Throne ! That pure and simple Gospel, which was
their guide through life, was their stay in the dark
valley (by how many a dying bed have I and my
fellow-labourers in the Gospel been permitted to
kneel !) and ushered them into the presence of their
" But I must not linger any more upon the
past though the mere effort to count up the mercies
of years gone by gives fresh emphasis to the words,
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you
always in every prayer of mine for you all making
request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel
from the first day until now ; being confident of
this very thing, that He which hath begun a good
work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus
Deanery of Gloucester Nomination to the See of Exeter Farewells at
Hampstead Consecration Enthronement Confirmations Ordi-
ations Relations with his clergy The Cathedral The Chapter
Hospitality Church Congress.
" Be to the flock of Christ a shepherd."
The Consecration of Bishops.
" So he fed them with a faithful and true heart. *
PSALM Ixxviii. 73.
EARLY in the year 1885, Edward Bickersteth was
appointed to the Deanery of Gloucester, then
vacant by the death of Dean Law. It was felt
that such a post would give him leisure for literary
work, as well as a higher vantage-ground for
evangelistic and missionary labour. He would
speak of his three R s, " Reading, Writing and
Rest," and how he would enjoy them. He went
down to Gloucester to be instituted and to make
arrangements for his removal thither. But it was
not so to be. The particulars of the sudden in
terruption of his plans are best told in his own
On January 27, he wrote
" You will have heard of Gladstone s telegram ;
his letter reaching me at Gloucester some half-hour
before I was installed. It was too late to stop the
54 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
installation, for I had been instituted the day
before. The letter told me that I would be
offered an English See, one of two, either Lincoln
or possibly Exeter. You will pray for me much
that I may see and do the Master s will only. I
had counted on rest, but if He says Work on till
the time come, His will is and must be best.
How humbly and holily we ought as a family
to walk with God ! "
These words indicate the spirit in which he
received the summons, and set himself to fulfil the
responsibilities of the Episcopal office, responsi
bilities so vast as to justify the supposition of the
author of the " Celestial Hierarchy," that whereas
each Christian soul has its guardian angel, an arch
angel is deputed by God to guard and defend
every Bishop of His Church.
On February 14, he wrote again
"The rush of congratulations has subsided,
though there is still a dropping fire of letters.
I have not as yet had an answer from the Arch
bishop as to the day of my consecration. I hope
it will be April 25, for confirmations begin on
He sent a letter to all the Clergy of his future
Diocese of Exeter begging their prayers, both on
the day of his consecration and during the interim.
A letter of March 14, tells of the loving present
table, writing-case, lamp, and a testimonial of
1000 to be given him at the ensuing Easter Vestry
on April 9, and " then best of all, a Bickersteth
Memorial Hall for a Mission Room, Workmen s
Coffee Room and Institute, at the cost of some
2600, on White Bear Green ; so mercies abound."
And a few days later he says
" We had a most heart- warming day yesterday :
the Church thronged and a Thankoffering for the in
numerable mercies which we had received as pastor
and flock for the last thirty years. It amounted
to 108 18s. and was devoted to inscribe John
Tucker s name on the Memorial tablet of the
C.M.S. House." 1
He made a farewell visit to Gloucester, where
he took the Holy Week Services in the Cathedral,
and preached several times, so that he might feel he
had done something for those people to whom, in
the providence of God, he had been called to
minister, albeit recalled at once.
On St. Mark s day, 1885, he was consecrated as
Bishop of Exeter, hi St. Paul s Cathedral, together
with Dr. Edward King, the new Bishop of Lincoln.
The presenting Bishops for him were his predecessor,
Dr. Temple, Bishop of London, and Dr. Thorold,
Bishop of Rochester. The preacher, Canon Liddon,
delivered a famous discourse on the Episcopal
Office, a masterpiece of reasoned eloquence and
illuminated erudition which thrilled his vast audi
ence, including those who could not follow him in
all his conclusions.
Bishop Bickersteth did homage on his appoint
ment to the See of Exeter, and on May 6, he
reached Devonshire, where he spent his first night
at Sowton Rectory with Archdeacon Sanders, it
being the custom for a Bishop of Exeter, when
newly consecrated, to enter the city for his
1 See Missionary Chapter.
56 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
enthronement. At this ceremony which was very
impressive, he gave an address upon the words,
" Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,
saith the Lord of Hosts," words which struck the
keynote of his Episcopate, words in which he cast
himself upon the sympathy and prayers of the
As he went in and out amongst clergy and
laity, there was the impression left everywhere,
which is best expressed in the words of the Shuna-
mite respecting Elisha, " Behold, now, I perceive
that this is an holy man of God which passeth by
us continually," and this impression grew and
deepened unto the end.
Of no man could it be more truly said that
" the lines had fallen to him in pleasant places."
Devonshire was to him an enchanted land, with its
unrivalled scenery of river, coast and moor, its
wonderful charm of quiet vales and wooded slopes.
No one loved better
" Its show of mountain hoary ;
Winding shore and deepening glen ;
Where the landscape in its glory,
Teaches truth to wandering men."
Nature was to him the sanctuary of the Eternal,
and his poetic instincts, imbued as they were by the
grace of God, enabled him to enjoy to the full the
wealth of beauty and grandeur which his journeys
up and down the Diocese opened out to him. None
could find more to calm and cheer, to soothe and
subdue, in places which were the constant scene of
his official duties. He held that nothing was so
helpful, as he once said in speaking on the 19th
Psalm, "as the balanced contemplation of the
works and word of God," which he illustrated from
the structure of the Psalm itself. Shortly after
coming to Devonshire, the Mayor of Tiverton at a
dinner said to him, " Bishop, you are a great
traveller ; have you made up your mind where the
Garden of Eden was ? " " Certainly," was the
reply. " Do let us know." " Why, Devonshire ! "
Nor did he less highly prize " the goodly heri
tage " of church, civic and county life upon which
he entered as chief pastor of the ancient See of the
West. The Cathedral was eloquent to him, of
churchmen, citizens, patriots, who had served their
generation according to the Will of God, many of
them indeed, " leaving footprints on the sands of
time," the rest consisting of those whose names,
though forgotten amongst men, are in everlasting
remembrance, being written in the Book of Life.
Edward Bickersteth succeeded to a bishopric
which had great traditions, his immediate pre
decessors Frederick Temple and Henry Philpotts
having been mighty and masterful prelates. And
it may be truly said that no Bishop ever rendered
a more ungrudging homage to the greatness and
goodness of the man whom he succeeded. He
used to speak of him as " a king of men," and Dr.
Temple who had not known him before his
appointment, said to a friend after seeing him for
the first time, " That man will do : he is so
Only a very cursory review of Bishop Bicker-
steth s administration of the Diocese can be given
58 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
within the limits of this book. The main features
of it, however, may be sketched and then illus
trated by extracts from his letters and public
It may be well to begin with his confirmations.
Of these he wrote on May 23, 1885
" I have taken now six Confirmations, and I
think that I shall enjoy this work the most. It is
more like my old pastoral dealings with young
hearts. ... I especially enjoyed confirmation
work on Friday and yesterday. At Coleridge, a
ruinous church, its walls green with mould and
windows blocked with broken shutters, there were
some warm loving hearts, and I have promised to
begin a subscription list for restoration, as it was
my first confirmation."
He valued most highly the opportunities, thus
afforded him, of getting into personal touch with
the rank and file of the laity in his Diocese. Every
where hearts were won by his true fatherliness.
All were attracted by his earnestness, by the power
with which he realized the love of Christ both to
himself and to those amongst whom he came.
None ever spoke with fuller belief " in the Fatherly
Hand" which would ever be over His children,
and of which the laying on of the Bishop s hand
was an abiding pledge and token.
He would ask the question of each candidate
by name, if the numbers were not too large. He
also gave a Memorial Card on which were happily
chosen words of Scripture, with the prayer at the
imposition of hands which all were exhorted to use
for themselves every day. The Rural Dean in
each neighbourhood acted as his Chaplain when he
The Confirmations averaged about one hundred
and twenty a year, and the total number of those
upon whom he laid hands during fifteen years was
between seventy and eighty thousand. He was
greatly concerned for the welfare of the boys on the
Britannia, Impregnable, and the Lion, which were
training ships for the Royal Navy, and his con
firmations when he visited them were most im
An experience of some years before his pro
motion to the Episcopate, in the conduct of Quiet
Days and Retreats for the Clergy, had equipped
him in a remarkable degree for his ordination
work. He ordained at Trinity and Advent in his
cathedral. He felt that those who were set apart
for the ministry should be sent forth from thence
as the centre of Church Life in the Diocese. The
candidates assembled on the Thursday in Ember
week, and were entertained at the Palace. They
were addressed by the Bishop himself on the first
evening, and the following days were filled up with
services, papers on pastoral subjects, and interviews
with the Bishop and his examining Chaplains.
Each day began with the Holy Communion and
a short address, the other devotional exercises
being Matins, a quiet hour in chapel conducted
by one of the chaplains, and Evensong with an
address. Some time was also set apart for medita
tion and prayer. The Bishop himself gave the
tone to the whole week, and did most to create
and sustain the atmosphere of holy, restful calm,
60 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
which was so fitting a prelude to the great service
of the following Sunday. Messages never to be
forgotten were spoken by Bishop Earle, now Dean
of Exeter, Principal Chavasse, now Bishop of
Liverpool, Archdeacon Sandford, Bishop Trefusis,
Chancellor Edmonds, Prebendary Ponsonby, and
others. These were full days for the Bishop, who,
in addition to the interviews with the candidates,
read over the sermons which those to be ordained
priests had sent in, besides the pastoral papers,
which were very searching.
The influence of these conversations and criti
cisms has left its impress upon many a career, and
the young men found in their Bishop a true father
in God, to whom they might open their griefs and
unburden their difficulties. Those Ember seasons
live in the hearts of all whose great privilege it
was to take any part in them.
Nor can the ordinations ever be forgotten by
those who were present. The beautiful rendering
of the service by the cathedral choir, the calm
dignity of the Bishop, as with benign countenance
and in accents of controlled emotion, he read the
almost inspired and most inspiring service of
ordination ; the hushed stillness which pervaded
the worshippers as the " Veni Creator " was sung,
and the laying on of hands upon the white-robed
candidates, all this it is impossible to describe. To
many, those services in the Cathedral at Exeter
seemed to approach very nearly to that ideal of an
ordination which the English Church has given in
The Bishop insisted that the newly-ordained
clergy should have the remainder of the day for
rest, and would not permit them to disperse to
their parishes until the following morning, after an
early Celebration with a few words of farewell.
The intellectual standard of the ordinees at
Exeter was above the average chiefly because of the
Philpotts Exhibitions for students at Oxford and
Cambridge, which were awarded on condition that
those who held them should be ordained at Exeter
and remain in the diocese for two years. Thus
not a few able men were attracted from the
Three hundred and six deacons, and three
hundred and thirty one priests, were ordained
during the Bishop s tenure of the See.
Another noteworthy feature of his regime was
the method which he adopted in instituting clergy
to their various spheres of labour. The ceremony
took place in the chapel at the Palace, when he
gave singularly apt addresses, emphasizing the
solemnity of the occasion, and impressing those
admitted with the dignity and responsibility which
attached to then* several charges.
His personal influence with the clergy was note
worthy, particularly with those who, in his judg
ment, had carried their ritual beyond the limits
laid down by the Prayer-book. He honoured
saintly and devoted clergy of every school, but
he felt that he must be faithful to his episcopal
vows, and call upon men, however earnest they
might be, to conform both to the formal regula
tions of the Church of England and to the spirit
in which those regulations had been drawn up.
62 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Those who came to speak with him on such
points realized that they had to do, not with the
lofty dignitary, or their ecclesiastical superior, but
with a real father in God, who regarded his clergy
with a loving affection. Prejudice was disarmed,
reserve melted away, and the air was cleared for
helpful discussion of the matters at issue. The
spirit in which the High Church Clergy of the
Diocese, almost without an exception, deferred to
his wishes as their Bishop was honourable alike
to him and to themselves. He had much cause
for thankfulness in his efforts to promote the peace
of the Church in his own jurisdiction. He wrote
thus to one of his clergy :
" I have read your touching letter of Friday
last ; but I have never been able to swerve from
my duty, as expressed by me at our Diocesan
Conference. My own judgment coincides with
the Archbishop s decision on Incense, Lights, and
the Reservation of the Sacrament. I had already
spoken of this provision in the Prayer-book for an
appeal to the Archbishop of the Province. I said,
* It may be that in course of time the laws of the
Church of England will be altered, and permit
reservation with strict safeguards to prevent
abuses ; but that at present I felt obedience to the
Archbishop s rulings was essential. Your own
obedience to me, as your Bishop, has materially
helped me, and I cannot but feel our Heavenly
Father has looked lovingly upon your submission
and faith ; your most affectionate father in God,
E. H. EXON."
And as there are sheep in every flock which go
astray, so, alas ! there are to be met with in the
Church, pastors who have fallen from their first
estate, and become the sorest hindrance to their
flocks as well as a reproach to their sacred calling.
Sometimes it is impossible to bring such offenders
under the operation of the Church s law, and they
have remained in their parishes for years. Happily
such cases have been rare. Bishop Bickersteth,
although he could rebuke with severity when occa
sion required, was able by his gentle, persuasive
entreaties to bring about retirement, in some cases,
where argument and authority would have been
powerless. Meanwhile, he himself would go to
such a parish and hold services there, considering
himself the Pastor of the Church.
The Cathedral Church naturally occupied the
Bishop s first thought in coming to the Diocese.
He had carefully read Archbishop Benson s " Ideals
of a Cathedral," and he sought to make his own
Cathedral a centre from which manifold influences
and activities might radiate throughout the Diocese,
whilst all its parishes and institutions could turn to
it for guidance, inspiration and assistance. An
interplay of forces might thus be set in motion
which would tend to keep the life of the Church
strong and fresh.
The opportunity was soon given him to carry
out such an ideal. The Chapter at Exeter was
composed of old men whose term of service had
nearly run out. Within a comparatively short
time, he was called upon to fill all the Residentiary
Canonries. The elevation of Archdeacon Earle
to the episcopate, and the death of Archdeacon
Barnes shortly after his installation, entailed the
64 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
appointment to two of the Canonries a second
The Bishop stipulated that the Canons should
resign their pastoral cures, and devote themselves
to some branch of diocesan work. To one Canon
he assigned the care of Education, to another the
promotion of Foreign Missions, to another the
furtherance of Home Missions, and to the fourth
the encouragement of study amongst the Clergy.
His expectations were largely realized, and he
would speak of his Canons with pride and
Having spared no pains to find the right men,
he gave them the freest scope, and his entire
support. In Archdeacon Sandford he found a man
for the times, an expert on education. Canon
Trefusis (afterwards his assistant Bishop), Canon
Atherton, and Chancellor Edmonds, did much to
carry out the Bishop s ideal of the work of a
Cathedral Chapter for the Diocese. His relations
also with the Deans who presided over the Chapter
during his episcopate were very cordial. He threw
himself heartily into the effort to provide a new
organ for the Cathedral, and his influence did much
in obtaining the large sum of money which was
Mention should also be made of the late Arthur
Burch, Esq., whom he appointed his Diocesan
Registrar, and whom he greatly valued as a per
sonal friend and adviser. A sound lawyer, his
sober cautious judgment and intimate knowledge
of the West were freely placed at the service of
his Bishop and the Diocese.
He had also the satisfaction of offering the
chancellorship of the Diocese to an old parishioner
at Hampstead in the person of Sir Lewis Dibdin,
now Dean of Arches.
The Bishop worked the Diocese through his
Rural Deans. He aimed at visiting a certain
number of Rural Deaneries every year, going
oftenest to the Three Towns, the most populous
centre under his charge.
A well-known Plymouth layman, writing in
1888, said :
" The great benefit of the division (of Exeter
Diocese) has been that the Bishop has been able to
visit every part of the Diocese more frequently,
and to stay longer and show himself more
among the people ; and there can be no doubt that
the presence of a bishop among the people does
produce a very great effect. Our Bishop spent ten
days here last January, meeting the churchwardens,
the Sunday school teachers, and other church
workers, as well as the clergy, and visiting the
schools, the hospitals, and the workhouse. All
this did incalculable good"
He visited 450 out of the 510 parishes in the
Diocese, some of his holidays being spent in Devon
shire, which enabled him to see something of the
more retired parishes where his visitations had not
extended. Once a year the Rural Deans met at
the Palace for devotion and conference. Their
visit coincided with one of the large gatherings
composed of workers and others, whom the Bishop
entertained at the Palace.
One of the main responsibilities of his office was
66 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
the dispensing of patronage. His own appoint
ments were now and then freely criticized, but no
one ever questioned his singleness of mind. He
took time to inquire and to consider, but when he
had come to a decision, in dependence always upon
God, he was bold and never flinched. He felt that
the Church at home should recognize the claims of
those who came back from the Mission field, and,
where possible, provide them spheres of service.
He sent a retired Missionary, of whose capacity and
devotedness he was well assured, to one of the
better endowed parishes in his gift. Those who
had appointments to make often consulted him,
and their confidence in his judgment frequently
led them to appoint his nominee. He stood aloof
from considerations of party, in this as well as
other matters connected with the administration
of the Diocese.
Lord Salisbury, when Prime Minister, would
consult him not only as to appointments to bene
fices in his own Diocese, but also as to other and
Any page from his book of engagements would
show how " he abounded in the work of the Lord "
in a multitude of ways. He was president of the
Missionary Guild of St. Paul for work in Japan,
and also of the Home and Colonial School Society,
an institution for training teachers on Evangelical
lines, for work at home and abroad. He pleaded
the causes of all the diocesan societies and insti
tutions besides the Pastoral Aid, the Addi
tional Curates, the Church Missionary Societies :
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the
London Society for Promoting Christianity among
the Jews, the Church of England Temperance
Society, and others. He once held a drawing-room
meeting at the Palace for the Palestine Exploration
Fund. The Deaconess s House of Refuge owed
its recovery from a serious crisis to his strenuous
advocacy. He summoned a Conference of all the
Union Chaplains, at which the spiritual provision
already made, or still required in the Workhouses
of Devonshire, was discussed.
No account of the Bishop would be complete
which did not mention his strong and persistent
efforts for the promotion of Sunday Observance.
He lifted up his voice in Convocation against
resolutions which he felt would tend to weaken
a cause so dear to his heart. He used to say,
"There are two sacred ordinances which have
come down to us from Eden, Holy Marriage the
bond of human love, and the Holy Day of Rest
binding men to God."
The apostolic precept "A Bishop must be
given to hospitality " found in Bishop Bickersteth
one who greatly delighted to fulfil it. For many
years he entertained every summer, immense
gatherings of various kinds at his house. Church
wardens and their wives, Day School Teachers,
Sunday School Teachers, Organists and Choirs,
Hospital Nurses, Lay Readers, Nonconformist
Ministers, Bell Ringers, Policemen, Railway
Servants, and Aged Persons, all from the Diocese
partook of his hospitality.
Luncheon was served in a marquee on the lawn
68 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
of the Palace Garden, and the afternoon, with an
interval for the Cathedral service and an address
by the Bishop which all were quite free to attend
or not, was spent in the Palace and grounds. Tea
followed later, at which there were brief speeches.
One of the most interesting of these occasions
was that upon which the Nonconformist ministers
throughout the County were invited, of whom
more than two hundred came. Such intercourse
tended to promote kindly feeling, and to allay
bitterness between those who loved their Lord,
and yet could not see eye to eye upon many vital
As this gathering of Nonconformist Ministers
was one of unusual interest, a more detailed
account of it may be given. The Bishop wrote
the following letter of invitation to all the Evan
gelical Nonconformist Ministers in the Diocese.
The Palace, Exeter, 4th June*
"MY DEAR SlR,
" I have long felt, with the Archbishops
of Canterbury and York, that it is greatly to be
desired there should be more opportunities of social
intercourse between the Clergy of the Church of
England and their brethren in Christ, who are the
Ministers of other Religious Communities.
"As a humble effort towards the promotion
of this fraternal intercourse, I am venturing to ask
all the Nonconformist Ministers resident in Devon
to meet some of the Clergy of my Diocese on
Tuesday, July 7. I shall hope to have the privilege
of introducing to them six representative brother
Ministers from Germany, France, Italy, Switzer
land, Holland, and America, who will be spending
two days with me that week (D. V. ), after the Evan
gelical Alliance Jubilee Commemoration, which
will be held June 28 to July 4, in London.
" I hope our friends will be able to gather by
noon or shortly after, so that a Brief Devotional
Meeting may be held in the Palace garden, in
which I trust some of my guests will kindly take
part. Luncheon will be at 1.15, and there will be
a Service in the Cathedral at 3 o clock, at which
the presence of any who desire to attend will be
most welcome. This will be followed by an
inspection of the Cathedral, the Chapter House
and Library, and afternoon tea at 5 o clock.
"May I hope that you will give me the
pleasure of your company on that day ?
" Yours in our One Lord,
" Most sincerely,
"E. H. EXON."
The programme outlined in the above letter
was carried out much to the satisfaction both of
the Bishop and of his guests. He addressed them
as follows :
" My Brothers in Christ Jesus, most sincerely
do I thank you for your presence to-day, and most
heartily do 1 welcome you in our dear Master s
Name. I have had the kindest replies to my
invitation from almost all those who are unable to
be with us to-day, saying how they would be one
with us in spirit and in prayer.
" Let me read but two letters, assuring you
that they only breathe the spirit of very many
responses ; one from an aged Nonconformist
Minister, the Rev. James Ellis, of Ilfracombe, and
another from a lay Churchman in the stress of
work. A very large number are prevented from
being with us, by being away from home, in their
70 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
summer holiday month, and some I grieve to say,
from sickness, and many from previous engage
ments which they could not forego.
" Then I have the great pleasure of introducing
to you some Brothers in Christ from far-off lands,
who came to England for the Evangelical Alliance
Conference held this week in London, and have
been good enough to honour us with their presence
" Pasteur Theodore Monod from France.
" Rev. Pastor Correva from Germany.
" Dr. Comba from Italy.
"Dr. Edouard Naville from Switzerland, a
distinguished Egyptian Explorer.
" Dr. Garth Van Wyk from Holland.
" W. E. Dodge, Esq., from the United States,
where he is the President of the Evangelical
" A. J. Arnold, Esq., the long-tried and trusted
Secretary of the Alliance.
"Pasteur Fra^ois Coillard, a devoted Mis
sionary from Africa.
" We bid them one and all welcome for Christ s
" We do not meet to-day to express conformity
in Church discipline, for therein we differ in many
things. But we do meet to evidence our con
fraternity in the fundamental verities of the ever
lasting Gospel, for therein we are one and shall be
one for ever.
" Wherein we differ, we desire, as the inspired
apostle beseeches us, with all lowliness and meek
ness and long suffering to forbear one another in
love. And wherein we are one, we are endeavour
ing to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of
peace ; for we know there is one body, and one
Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism ; one God
and Father of all, who is above all and through all
and in us all. And we recognize that to each
there is given grace according to the measure of
the gift of Christ.
" In bidding most hearty welcome to our
Nonconformist brethren from Devon, and to the
delegates of the Evangelical Alliance so happily
with us to-day, I would couple the names of the
Rev. Dr. Macpherson, of Exeter, and W. E.
Dodge, Esq., of the United States."
In August, 1893, he wrote to his son and
chaplain from Nevin :
" A good many letters but nothing very urgent.
The worst was on Tuesday morning from Arch
deacon Sandford, forwarding one from Archdeacon
Emery. They want the Church Congress to be
at Exeter in 1894. Alas, alas ! but we must,
if it comes, throw ourselves heartily into it and look
for a blessing which will not be denied us." l
The year was spent in vigorous preparation,
clergy and laity alike giving the heartiest co
operation to the undertaking. And when the
time came, many causes contributed to bring
about a very successful issue. The weather was
propitious, and a large number of good speakers,
1 The Bishop of Winchester, Dr. Thorold, who had been asked to
take part in the Congress, wrote :
"The Deanery, Winchester, October 23, 1893.
" MY DEAR BROTHER,
" Vigorous is the adjective for your address. It must have
stirred and inspired the Conference. As to your Congress next year,
nous verrons. One condition is indispensable that I am alive. A very
much wounded bird hardly likes to look across the next hedge. I live
and work with my life in my hands ; and though bacillus is not on my
nerves, he is plentiful in nature. I was very sorry not to see your son.
He is as able as he is good.
Your affectionate friend,
72 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
both clerical and lay, took part in the proceedings.
The Bishop s opening speech was one of the most
effective ever delivered at such an assemblage. As
a rule he was not at his best as a platform speaker,
but he could rise to the exigencies of a great
The following were the main subjects of the
Congress address. He said
" Our manifold subjects will, I believe, mainly
revolve around the two foci of Church Reform and
the Church s Mission. They are inseparably con
nected. One axis, Thy Will be done in its and
by us, runs through them both. And, indeed, it
is only an oblique section of the cone which pre
sents us with the two foci of an ellipse. When
the section is parallel with the base of the cone,
a perfect circle is the result, and the two foci
coalesce and form the one centre from which all
lines radiate. Our basis is the Word of Truth.
Our sections of thought are, I trust, becoming
more and more parallel with it, and as we pray
believingly, Let Thy continual pity cleanse and
defend Thy Church, that it may be devoutly given
to serve Thee in all good works, Church Reform
and the Church s Mission, will be more and more
fused into one, till they both find their consumma
tion in the fulfilment of the prayer
"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
After pointing out that he would limit his
words " to the need of perfecting that sifting and
solid Church Reform" which had already been
begun, he said that if this were done, we as
Churchmen should be able to gird up our loins
and obey what the Iron Duke called " our Marching
Orders." The secret of our not having done more
to evangelize the world, was to be found in the
want of more solid Church reform.
With reference to Biblical criticism, the follow
ing words show the Bishop was not afraid of that
which is of a reverent and serious kind.
" This faith of our fathers is our faith, and, God
helping us, we will hand it down to our children,
though it be tried with fire, without the loss of
a single grain of gold. England s Church has
never feared Biblical criticism when serious and
reverent, and hence we stand on a far higher
level than those who unconvinced, are compelled
to submit, if not to subscribe, to the recent
encyclical letter from the Vatican. ... Of infer
ences drawn from insufficient premises the name
is legion ; speculations and guesses there are with
out number ; plausible but unproved theories fall
round us thick as the leaves of Vallombrosa. But
of these, further research has exposed many ; the
recent discoveries of travellers have refuted others ;
and the arguments and surmises of agnostics con
sume one another in rapid succession. They breed
with marvellous fecundity, but like Saturn, they
devour their own children and the bleached bones
only remain. . . .
"The reaction against hasty inference from
uncertain discoveries, has already set in, and I
doubt not will gradually become a solid re-forma
tion of thought ; for we are learning in Biblical
criticism, as in many other things, to refuse the
evil and choose the good, and the words are
engraven more deeply than ever on our hearts,
74 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
In your patience ye shall win your souls. If
Cicero could say, Opinionum commenta delet dies,
naturae judicia confirmat, we respond with the
inspired seer, The grass withereth, the flower
fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand for
SUPERANNUATION OF THE CLERGY
The words on this subject created notice at
the time, and are emphasized by the fact that the
Bishop himself acted six years later on the advice
" The compulsory retirement of superannuated
and disabled clergy is still unattained, and yet no
departmental authorities, military or civil, would
tolerate men retaining responsible posts which
demand active service, when they could no longer
discharge the duties appertaining to those posts.
" In our Navy and Army, officers are obliged
to retired at a certain age according to their rank.
No manager of a bank, no director of a railway,
no surgeon or physician of a hospital, holds on to
his place when superannuated or disabled. But if
clergymen of all ranks, bishops, deans, archdeacons,
canons, incumbents, curates, were obliged to resign
at three score years and ten, unless they could
produce a medical certificate from a nominated
physician in the diocese, that they appeared fully
able to continue their episcopal or clerical work for
the next twelve months, a certificate to be renewed
year by year, it would relieve the Church from
many burdens ; and promotions would be healthily
accelerated. Those who resigned would pass from
the Executive to the Consultative ranks of the
clergy ; but not a few would easily claim, and annu
ally renew their certificate of health and strength
until they passed four score years and more, and
haply their last works would be among their fruit-
fullest and best. There is a prelate l on our bench
over ninety years of age, whose unwearied labours
would surpass the powers of many a man of sixty.
Still, the criterion I have named would meet the
most serious cases of superannuation. And if this
retirement from active ministry were foreseen by
the clergy, prevision would beget provision. They
would generally insure their li ves for a sum to be
paid at death, or on attaining seventy years, and
when such an insurance is effected in early man
hood, the additional yearly premium is very small.
Now, if besides this, all clergymen upon their
ordination, were obliged to subscribe to a society
such as the Clergy Pensions Institution, which is
making rapid and solid progress . . . they would
receive a substantial annuity at the age of sixty-
The Bishop closed with a reference to a third
source of income in the allowance granted under
the Incumbents Resignation Act.
" The Church is called to act in loco parentis
to the children of our fatherland. The Master s
pastoral charge to St. Peter, * Feed my lambs,
comes before Shepherd my sheep. And what is
education without religion? I was sitting, as a
young man, some fifty years ago by my father s
side in a great educational meeting at Norwich,
when an advocate for secular education harped on
the words, educate, educate, educate, as the one
panacea for all our social ills. I well remember
1 Bishop Duruford of Chichester.
76 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
my father s saying to me, * Let them educate the
children ever so much, without religion they will
never make them so clever as the Devil.
"England, as a nation, abhors secularism, and
those who know teachers and parents best, can
testify to their warm and genuine gratitude for
definite religious instruction being required in our
schools. The minority who oppose it are loud-
throated ; but for all that their voice is not the
voice of England. As to the financial maintenance
of Church schools, subscribers to all inspected and
accredited voluntary schools for the working classes,
whether Protestant or Roman, or Jewish schools,
surely ought to be allowed on producing a receipt,
to deduct the amount of their subscriptions from
the Board School rates. It is unequal and unjust
to tax or squeeze philanthropists in both ways."
" While I earnestly hope the temptations to
drunkenness will be extensively reduced by the
suppression of needless public houses (compensation
being allowed to every interest involved), I confess
my hopes lie mainly in the direction of the Bishop
of Chester s Bill, which recognizes that the public
house of entertainment is necessary for the com
fort, recreation, and social intercourse of the people,
and that reform, rather than abolition, must be the
aim of a sound temperance policy. And for this,
the placing of licensed victualling should be in
public hands, giving to their management the
character of a public trust, and eliminating, as far
as possible, the motive of private gain ; in fact, the
Gottenberg system adapted to English customs
and English society. Intemperance is a national
abscess ; the abscess requires the surgeon s lancet,
but the nation needs the food of wholesome
recreation and refreshing society."
A vigorous appeal for greater missionary enter
prise was a keynote of the address.
"We need not revolutionize systems of mis
sions which have worked well, or substitute new
ideal systems which some think would work better ;
the best is, after all, the enemy of the good. Pro
bably now the Church of England cannot do
evangelistic work more efficiently than through
the two great missionary confederations, the S.P.G.
or the C.M.S. with their many younger sister
societies. But ought she not to double her mis
sionary forces before the 20th century dawns (that
is in rather more than six years), and account this
as only an earnest of far greater things ? Is it
too much to say that if we gave one-tenth of our
clergy and their faithful lay helpers to the mani
fold mission fields (sorely as we should miss them
at home) England s Church would be the gainer,
not the loser ; for the blood, which is the life, would
course more freely through her veins ?
"If we were making disciples of all nations,
it would be our strongest Church defence, a
mighty magnet for home reunion, a signal to
the ends of the earth. * The Lord is at hand.
Some devoted men would go forth in brotherhood
as members of community missions ; some holy
women would go as deaconesses or sisters ; neither
men nor women I hope bound by vows of celibacy.
That saintly French prelate of the 17th century,
Nicholas Pavilion, Bishop D Alet, entirely pro
hibited the goodly fellowship of sisters he gathered
round him and employed hi his Diocese, from
taking vows, feeling as he wrote to the Princess
de Conti, It is better to serve God with a full
78 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
heart and a mind at liberty, than to expose your
self to the temptation of regretting the sacrifice,
which you have irrevocably made, and which you
may make with freedom daily. Doubtless both
married and unmarried missionaries are needed."
MOBILIZATION OF FORCES
" Mobilization of forces has proved itself a most
essential factor in modern strategy. In the Franco-
German War of 1870, France was conquered not
only by the greatest of Emperors and by Bismarck,
the ablest of diplomatists, but also by Moltke, who
with mathematical precision had wrought out the
plan of the campaign before a shot was fired.
Japan is teaching the nations of the far east the
same lesson both by land and sea. Has the
Church Militant learned how, rightly and rapidly,
to mobilize her missionary forces ? "
" CATHOLIC PARTY "
" As the phrase Catholic Party has been twice
used this morning, I must, as President, say that
the two things seem to me inconsistent, Catholic
and Party. We are members of the Holy Catholic
Church. Can a party be Catholic ? "
THE BISHOP WITH TWO OF HIS GRANDCHILDREN, 1886.
Home life at Exeter Letters Lambeth Conference Death of Bishop
Edward Bickersteth of South Tokyo Recollections Presentation
"True to the kindred points of heaven and home."
SOME account of the Bishop s home life at Exeter
will follow appropriately upon the description in
the preceding chapter, of his public work. Its
main sources are letters written by him to his son,
Bishop Edward Bickersteth in Japan, and recollec
tions of members of his family, and of others who
had frequent intercourse with him. The exigencies
of a busier life did not allow time for letters such
as he had written in his Hampstead days, but they
give an outlook upon things from another stand
point and reveal " the hidden man of the heart," in
one who touched the life of his time on many sides.
He writes on January 13, 1887 :
" Our hearts are so full of the sudden death of
our friend and neighbour Lord Iddesleigh ; we can
think of little else. Only last Friday, he spoke at
our Queen s Jubilee County Meeting for three-
quarters of an hour in a masterly speech. I helped
him to put his coat on after the meeting, for which
he thanked me so gracefully. Last Monday I had
a quarter of an hour with him in his study, in which
80 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
he spoke so brightly of China and Japan, and now
that busy brain and loving heart, which have wrought
and beat so warmly for England for forty years of
statesmanship, are still. I have to preach at Upton
Pynes, his little Parish Church, on Sunday next,
and think of speaking on the words, David, after
he had served his generation by the will of God,
fell on sleep. I am sure Lord Iddesleigh served
his generation right faithfully. We have lost a
true friend in him, and England and the Empire a
sagacious watchman and peacemaker. Happily we
" O God our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come."
"July 13, 1887.
"Yesterday I was preaching at Martinhoe in
the afternoon, such a rustic church, on Stretch
forth thine hand. A thought which has been in
my mind lately is this :
" I ought, I can, I will.
" * I can because I ought, for God never lays
an impossible duty upon us, and then * I will
because I ought and can.
On December 26, 1889, he writes :
" Yesterday I preached on We know that the
Son of God has come (1 John v. 20), the Incarna
tion, the pledge of all that Divine love has done
and has promised to do for us, and the key to the
dark riddles and mysterious providences of our
Lord, in our pilgrim life. I spoke a few words on
that which I know must have struck a deep chord
of sympathy and sorrow in your heart, as in ours,
the death of dear Bishop Lightfoot. I know how
you loved him, how deep the debt you feel you
owe him. But I said one thing in passing which
S. warmly thanked me for in the vestry. If it
were not for the communion of the mystical body
of Christ in earth and heaven, we should say how
inestimably poorer the Church was for the loss of
that luminous mind, that evenly balanced judgment,
that richly stored memory. But the Church never
loses any of her wealth. It is of God and in God s
keeping. You felt on what a slender thread his life
hung, when you left England. But the Master
Sculptor had the finishing touches to put to His
work, and now we can only say, * It is the Lord.
" Upper House of Convocation, February 6, 1891. "
" My ordination day as deacon, 1848. What a
retrospect of mercies and shortcomings ! It has
been an interesting Convocation, principally about
brotherhoods and sisterhoods. I do not like dis
pensable vows, and am fortified by Bishop Light-
foot s protest not two years ago. In the first place,
I do not believe anybody ought to take lifelong
vows of this character when he cannot foresee the
future : nor do I believe that a Bishop has such a
dispensing power, regarding a vow made to God.
The whole matter seems to me to lie in foro
" I had a conversation with the Archbishop
yesterday, re the possibility of a suffragan. He
will patiently consider it, but evidently feels the
clergy do not like suffragans as they do their own
4 March 20, 1891.
"Now that I am treading the border land of
old age, the mighty verities of the Cross and the
Resurrection, seem more impregnable and more
necessary. When flesh and heart must at the
longest soon fail, the Crucified and Risen Incarnate
God is alone our strength and portion for ever. I
82 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
am glad you are studying Leighton. The inimit
able charm of his writing is, of course, not his
Churchmanship, but that refined and cultured
heavenly-mindedness, which rises above the needful
lines of demarcation, within which we must work
until the day dawn and the shadows flee away.
In August 1891, the Bishop, accompanied by
his wife and one of his daughters, started on a
journey to Japan. Besides the joy of visiting his
son, Bishop Edward Bickersteth, of South Tokyo,
there was one object very dear to his heart, "to see
how his brethren did in the mission field." A
description of this journey, which was in a very
real sense a missionary journey, is reserved for the
chapter on his missionary work.
On January 14, 1892, he writes :
" The death of the Duke of Clarence, at 9 a.m.,
is filling our hearts to-day. There is something
inexpressibly sad in one who was counting on his
wedding next month (and the bride-elect under
the roof at Sandringham), called so suddenly away.
The national sympathy is intense. There has been
nothing like it since the Prince of Wales illness
twenty years ago. I am to preach on it next Sun
day in the Cathedral (D.V.), and think of taking
the words, The grass withereth, the flower fadeth,
but the word of God shall stand for ever.
"June 16, 1892.
" We had our meeting of Western Bishops ;
two came, but Ubi tres, ibi ecclesia. We always
have our spiritual subject, and it fell to me to
suggest and to open it. It was on the special
perils which beset us as Bishops, and the special
privileges which are ours (1) in preaching, (2) in
confirming, (3) in ordaining, (4) in correspondence,
(5) in shepherding the shepherds, (6) in society,
(7) in exercising discipline, (8) in dealing with Non
conformists, (9) in fulfilling the office of Father in
God to the lay people."
" September 1, 1892.
"Spent last Sunday at Princetown, and con
firmed twenty-two of the prisoners. I think I told
you of my friend the king of the burglars whom
I confirmed five years ago. He is a convict under
a life sentence for firing at and dangerously wound
ing a policeman and a postman, when rifling a house
in London. I asked after him, and was so thankful
to hear that he was staunch and true. The chaplain
told me that the first religious impression was made
upon him when committing a burglary at Brighton.
The plan of the house was given him, and he was
told off to break into it. He got in, and, dark
lantern in hand, entered a young lady s bedroom,
took her watch and gold ornaments from her dress
ing-table and mantelpiece ; and then turning on a
little light, he saw in a cheval looking-glass that
she was sitting up in bed and watching him. He
turned the light down, but as he passed her bed in
leaving the room, he felt her hand laid on his
shoulder, and she said, Have you a mother ? It
struck him all of a heap he said, Yes, I have.
Do you, she asked, * love your mother ? He said,
I do. Well, then, she said, I have a mother
in the next room. Will you promise you won t go
in there ? I know the fright would kill her, for
she is weak and ill ; promise me. He promised,
and she began to speak to him about his course of
life. He felt cowed, and he put down her watch
and all he had taken on the floor, and said to her,
I won t trouble anything in this house. And at
once he left the house, and though he returned to
84 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
his predatory life in London, he never forgot it.
The simple story struck me much.
" Our poor gardener died quite suddenly in our
garden at Exeter yesterday : He was a true
Christian servant with but one talent which he
faithfully laid out, and I doubt not entered into the
joy of his Lord."
" October 13, 1892.
" The Times yesterday put in a letter I wrote on
Tennyson s mother s funeral. There had been pro
found feeling in the public mind, which I am per
suaded is a tribute to the real faith Tennyson had
in God and His Word and his Gospel, and the
sweet home-purity he loved and sung.
" I am sorry A. shrinks from Holy Orders after
all ! Perhaps longer experience of life will convince
him of the blessed power for influencing which TO
^apio-fia TOV eov y through the laying on of hands,
" I send you Henry Martyn s new life ; the book
is an immense improvement on its predecessor,
though I still feel Martyn did not walk in all the
freedom wherewith Christ makes His servants free ;
and yet more strongly feel his Lydia ought to
have gone out to him."
"January 17, 1894.
" I was so deeply interested in your mapping
out the vast Empire of Japan with the American
Bishop, for Christ. His it is, and shall be for ever.
It reminds me of the command to Abraham,
* Arise, walk through the land in the length of
it : for I will give it unto Thee."
"February 9, 1894.
" I have been reading with deepest interest
Dean Church s Oxford Movement. It is most
masterly as all his writings are, most vivid, most
helpful in many things, but alas ! (though uninten
tionally I am sure, for he was ever a lover of truth),
most defective and unjust to the grand Evangelical
Revival in the Church of England from 1780 to
1830. I doubt not his estimate was from want of
knowledge and research, for I am sure there have
seldom been 50 years of nobler triumphs of the work
ing of the Spirit of God on human hearts, in the
long history of the Church s warfare. Men like
Henry Venn, and Wilberforce, and Henry Martyn,
and Scott, and Simeon, and Biddulph, and Cecil,
men who laid the foundations of the C. M.S., certainly
the most warrior-like army of the soldiers of the
cross which the Church has known for many cen
turies, are not to be passed over with the sneering
criticisms of good Dean Church, blessed man as he
was. Oh 1 for largeness of heart to grasp the good
of all good men 1 for all are ours, and I have ever
felt the three great Revivals, the Evangelical Re
vival, the Missionary Revival, the Church Revival,
are interlinked inseparably, and call for the adoring
thanks of all lovers of the truth."
" May 23, 1894.
"Last week was a crowded week with an
ordination. But I do not think in all the 19
ordinations held here on the Trinity Sundays and
in Advent since I came in 1885, we have ever had
such a delightful set of men ; all graduates, 12 from
Cambridge, 9 from Oxford, 2 from Dublin ; but all
so thoughtful and spiritual, and all so grateful for
the quiet restfulness of the 3j days."
" June 26, 1894.
We had the most delightful meeting of Rural
Deans, Canons, and Archdeacons last Wednesday
and Thursday. It was quite an intellectual feast,
as well as a social luxury. It was followed by the
meeting of organists from all parts of my Diocese,
for luncheon, conversazione, wandering over our
house, a perfect musical service in the Cathedral,
and then returning for tea in the garden. All was
sunshine and mercy."
"Cromer, August 30, 1894.
" I preached at Banningham to a thronged
Church full, [indeed they were standing outside
the windows], on the Exceeding great and
precious promises given to us (2 Peter i.). It was
touching to see the loving remembrance of those
among whom I laboured 46 years ago ; but few
remain to greet me ; still tradition is strong."
" October 4, 1894.
" I hope to be able to send you an early copy of
my opening address [at the Congress] by to-night s
mail. I have touched on so many debatable ques
tions, I dare say I shall be harshly criticised. Still,
if the Master approves, that is all, and I am very
thankful to have interwoven Church Reform and
the Church s Mission to non-Christian lands."
" Tintagel, Cornwall, October 18, 1894.
" Here we are, and have been since Monday, in
the quietest, freshest retreat possible, in small but
very comfortable lodgings after all the incessant
press of last Congress week. We cannot be really
thankful enough for the wonderful blessing which
seemed to rest on every day s work from the 7th
to the 14th, inclusive. Surely God heard and
answered our prayers. Of course, in so large and
free an outpouring of so many minds and hearts,
there were things said, which, to use Coleridge s
words, did not find me. But there was no
bitterness, except there was a groan or two in
* Father Ignatius reply to Professor Driver which
I did not hear. Still I am sure it was wiser
to let him speak (and told Bishop Barry, who was
chairman, so before hand), and, viewing the Con
gress as a whole, there was a noble testimony to
" The Friday morning devotional service in the
Cathedral, when Professor Swete, the Rev. W. H.
Hutchings, and H. E. Fox (Durham), and the
Bishop of Truro, gave four addresses with a hymn
and collects between each, all bearing on * The
Doctrine and Dispensation of the Holy Spirit, was
to my mind the most delightful of all, and I can
only pray that the whole Congress may be a
spiritual epoch to myself in the late evening of
From the home of one who had lately lost her
husband, he writes to his daughter
" November 22, 1894.
" I have been telling her of the ever- widening
circles of noble Christian ambition.
" (1) Our own walk with God.
" (2) Our home circle trained for God.
" (3) Our parish, the spot where He has placed
us to be worked for Him.
" (4) Our Diocese, some special field chosen to
cultivate. (I think she will take our Deaconess s
work under her influence here.)
" (5) The great Missionary work in far-off
" January 15, 1895.
" I am sure I ought to hold earth with a looser
hand and heaven with a firmer grasp, now that 1
am on the verge of three score years and ten. But
I find it hard to do this in such a Paradise of
human love as God, in His great mercy, has made
"June 20, 1895.
" On Monday and Tuesday we had the annual
gathering of the Diocesan Missionaries in the
88 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Cathedral, and at Canon Atherton s house and
garden ; they numbered 60. Nine years ago, I
said that of our 750 Clergymen in this Diocese, we
might find one in ten capable of being Missioners,
if they would stir up the gift of God which was in
them. That would number 75, but it is a great
mercy to have 60, or four-fifths of my asked-for
fellow- workers. "
"August 1, 1895.
" My great sorrow since 1 wrote has been the
death of my dear, dear friend and brother, Bishop
Thorold. For nearly forty years we have been
friends, and now that he and dear French are gone,
I feel more and more what a band of brothers are
gathering on the other side of Jordan. Oh to be
ready when the Master calls ! "
He writes on the death of his sister Charlotte,
Mrs. Ward :
"September 15, 1896.
" Last Wednesday I was by my precious sister.
It was a singular, and to me most tender mercy,
that she was conscious, and not only knew me, but
took intense pleasure in my having come. I was
indeed thankful to have been permitted to spend
her last conscious hour of pilgrimage with her.
It is 37 years since death entered my father s
circle, my mother having passed away in 1859, and
I am the oldest survivor of that generation."
Bishop Bickersteth took an active part in the
proceedings of the Lambeth Conference in the
early summer of 1897. He served as a member of
Committees which were appointed to discuss and
report upon questions bearing upon the Missionary
Work of the Church, and the Observance of
Bishop Edward Bickersteth had returned home
in broken health early in the year 1897. A partial
recovery enabled him to take part, together with
his father, in the Conference of Bishops, but a
relapse took place, and the call to rest came on
August 5th, just after the close of the Conference. 2
This heavy stroke was received by the Bishop with
a submission to the will of God and a Christian
patience which all who knew him felt beforehand
that he would exhibit. He had all the consola
tion which widespread sympathy and many prayers
could minister ; and meanwhile, he continued
"steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the
work of the Lord." He never entirely recovered
the spring and the buoyancy of the past ; it was
manifest that the blow had told heavily upon him.
The Palace at Exeter occupies an ideal site,
nestling as it does under the shadow of the
Cathedral Church. Its beautiful lawns and
gardens, its fine old elms and shady walks, its
enclosure to the east of the ancient City wall,
give it a wonderful charm. The mellowed chimes
of the bells at the hour of prayer, the sense of
stillness and retirement after the throng and bustle
of the streets near by, the loveliness of trees and
flowers, and the sweet singing of birds, these
elements of repose and refreshment made their
irresistible appeal to such a mind as the Bishop s.
To no occasion during his life at Exeter did he
1 See note at the close of the chapter. 2 See Appendix III.
90 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
look back with more gratification than to the
gracious visit paid to him there in 1886 by her
Majesty, then Princess of Wales, and their Royal
Highnesses the Princesses Louise, Victoria and
Maude. The inhabitants of the ancient and loyal
city of Exeter, were in like manner deeply touched
and gratified by their coming in such a way.
Some impressions of the home life at the Palace
during those years have been contributed by one
of the family. 1
" It is not easy to sketch, in a few words, the
impression which my father s life left upon his
family during his fifteen years Bishopric. But as
a Vicar he had taken, as a matter of course, the
priority of parochial to private interests ; and this
repeated itself in the wider sphere. The Palace
was to him a trust to be used as a centre for
hospitality, whether for gatherings of clergy and
Church workers, or for our weekly At Homes
and occasional dinner-parties. He took much
interest in keeping it up, and also in the garden, in
which he planted another tree each year : and he
often regretted that a scheme to restore its frag
ments of ancient cloister proved beyond his means.
"We did not often go with him in his visits
about the Diocese, but from time to time pro
minent laymen stayed with us ; and the fact was
probably known to them that his life was one of
work, unbroken except by his love of home, and
by time reserved in his summer holiday for literary
" He was often away for Sunday work, but when
at home he never missed reading us The Chris
tian Year and his own poems for the day From
1 Miss M. Bickersteth.
Year to Year : nor, whatever visitor might be
present, did he fail to offer a prayer for the absent
members of the family, and to claim the singing
of favourite hymns before Cathedral Evensong.
" He was never a leader in Church politics at
Bishops Meetings or in Convocation ; but he had
trained his mind in secular politics from boyhood
by study of the Times, and on his return from
London he would give us resumes of the trend of
affairs, which were marked by his natural shrewd
ness. His deep love of the Church and her pro
gress left him untrammelled, as outsiders have
noted, by party considerations. He saw also where
the Diocese would gain, by a share in the increased
centralization and common action of modern Church
life. He grasped that the Archbishop was " Primus
inter Pares," but he responded to his lead with
enthusiastic loyalty. He trusted us ever to re
gard his official interests, and trust was the essence
of his nature.
"At home his will was law, and touched by the
strictness of the early Evangelicals. His study was
reserved for work, except when we met after
evening Chapel, or when invaded by grand
children ; and in the earlier days he would return
thither for work, even after dinner.
" His musical perception was keen, while his
knowledge of music was limited. He talked very
little of spiritual matters, and left us free as to
personal development, but the impression he gave
us in daily life was one of sunny faith, won, as he
would tell us, by doubts and struggles in early
manhood, which he thought had left no part of the
battle-field he did not know. He would never
give us his judgment in a hurry, but say instead,
I will pray it over and think it over, though it
might mean a delay of many days. His gentleness
was self-evident, but it was the outcome of control
92 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
of a quick temper, and it was known in the house
hold that his early rising did not mean extra work,
but time reserved for devotion before the day s
duties. His usual freedom in expressing affection,
veiled a reserve as to the deep sorrows and per
plexities of life, which he allowed few to penetrate.
But he met them e.g. the death of his son, the
Bishop of South Tokyo with a submission to the
will of God we shall never forget. If I can serve
Christ in London, he said to me just before his
resignation, then I must not think of completing
my sixteen years here ; and the motto he had
carved above his study mantelpiece, surrounded
by pictures of Trinity College, Cambridge ; Christ
Church, Hampstead; Norwich, Gloucester and
Exeter Cathedrals, was Cui servire regnare.
Early in 1898, it was resolved that a testimonial
be presented to the Bishop by the Diocese on his
birthday in the following January, to commemorate
the fifteenth year of his Episcopate and the fifty-
first of his ministry in the Church. It took the
form of a portrait of himself, which was presented
at a large gathering of the clergy and laity in the
Chapter House of the Cathedral at which Arch
deacon Sandford presided.
The Rt. Hon. Sir John Kennaway, Bart., M.P.,
in making the presentation said :
" We meet under happy circumstances to-day,
in this Ever Faithful city, and within the pre
cincts of our grand Cathedral. Exeter has not
always been the abode of peace and happiness.
History tells us of the sieges undergone, of the
excitement of Royal visits ; and, like other cities,
Exeter has witnessed the growth of different
parties, civil and religious, in her midst, with rival
powers, conflicting jurisdiction, claims of obnoxious
privileges and the right of sanctuary, bringing
about strained relations between the Guildhall and
the Chapter, verging almost upon civil war. I
take it that the presence of the Mayor to-day is
a sign that these times are past, and that harmony,
peace, and good fellowship now exist between the
city and the Chapter.
" Exeter has on its roll of Bishops many familiar
names of great men who have occupied this See,
great and brilliant statesmen, administrators, com
mentators, and translators of the Bible, and master
builders. I am not sure whether there are any
warriors among them. Walter Bronescombe, Peter
Quivil, Stapledon, Grandison, Trelawney, Buller,
and Courtenay are men in the past, who have left
great names behind them. Some of us can still
remember, in our own times, the powerful and
acute intellect of Henry Phillpotts, while the force,
the energy, the fire, and the strength of Frederick
Temple are sufficiently in our memories.
" You, my Lord, the son of a large-hearted and
devoted father, who practically gave his life to the
Church Missionary Society, came among us with
a different training, with the experience of a large
metropolitan parish, as a commentator of know
ledge and research, a poet whose name is dear, and
who has brought comfort to thousands on either
side of the Atlantic. You have won our hearts by
loving sympathy, by a generous and far-reaching
hospitality, by an encouragement given to Church
workers of all grades of the Diocese, by a desire
to draw closer to us our Nonconformist brethren,
by a recognition of the claims of our soldiers and
sailors to Church work and Church sympathy, and
also by the prominence you have given to the
missionary cause in this Diocese, a cause which the
94 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
recent Lambeth Conference acknowledged to be
the most important committed to the Church. It
was felt that the fiftieth year of your ministry, and
the fourteenth of your episcopate, should not be
allowed to pass by without there being secured to
us some memory of what you have been and what
you are a permanent abiding memorial.
" The times are changed in regard to the
episcopal office. It used to be said that the
Bishop could only come into his Cathedral city
from a far-off palace in a coach and four. Now
railways and the march of modern ideas have
changed all that. But we do form very high ideas
of the episcopal office, and we certainly make very
great demands upon it. We expect the Bishop to
take part in all the varied forms of our modern
Church life, to be acquainted with every corner
of his Diocese ; we expect him to restrain, to
stimulate, to encourage, and to counsel. Nor are
these all. We are passing through, it may be,
critical and perilous times, and duties and responsi
bilities rest upon the Bishops in regard to them.
We do not desire in these times to invoke the
assistance of law or Parliament. We look to you,
my Lord, and to your brethren as our leaders. We
would render to you obedience. We would give
you an assurance of our hearty support in defend
ing the rights of the Church, in maintaining her
discipline and doctrine.
" We thank God for the age in which we live,
for never has the Church done her duty so well,
never has she been so firmly rooted in the affec
tions of the English people. And we earnestly
pray that now, in these our days, God will defend
His Church, and, as we have received it from our
forefathers, in its beauty and purity Catholic,
Apostolic, and Protestant so we pray that we
may be enabled to hand it down to those that
come after us, in a way that will show that we
have been worthy of the great trust committed
" My Lord, we now propose to present this
picture to the Diocese, but there will be a replica of
it for Mrs. Bickersteth. The work of preparing
and organizing this presentation has been a work of
love. The response that we had to the invitations
sent out has been from beginning to end most
gratifying. We earnestly hope that this picture
will be treasured and valued by you and your
family, and that it will remain among us as a
stimulus to encourage us and all Church workers
in the Diocese, to do and to attempt great things
for God and His Church. I have pleasure in
presenting you, my Lord, with this book containing
a brief account of the steps which led up to the
painting of this likeness, together with the book of
The Bishop in returning thanks said :
"Dear Archdeacon of Exeter, dear Sir John
Kennaway, and all my brethren of the clergy and
laity. A circular which was signed by thirty
eminent laymen and forty eminent clergymen
(almost all of our Diocese), fell into my hands last
spring. They proposed to mark the completion of
my then half-century of ministerial work by asking
me to sit for my portrait, which when painted,
should be hung in the Palace hall among those
of my predecessors. Their far too generous testi
mony borne to my pastoral and episcopal labours,
make my heart tremble and my cheek blush to
think of my countless shortcomings in the irrevoc
able past, for when I read it I could only take shelter
in the Psalmist s prayer, Enter not into judgment
with Thy servant, O Lord ; for in Thy sight shall
96 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
no man living be justified. And then I had
always hitherto declined to have my portrait
painted, for I felt time was priceless, and photo
graphs would suffice. But I could not, I dared
not, refuse the wish of so many friends, when it
was pressed upon me by men whom I have revered
and loved so long. So here I am before you
to-day, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to thank
you with a full heart for the portrait which you
have so kindly combined to present to the See
of Exeter, and not only so, itself the forerunner of
a replica, which you have thoughtfully provided to
give my family as an heirloom when I am no longer
" It is, indeed, to me a most humbling thought
the being enlinked to such an historic chain of
Bishops of Exeter (myself the sixty-second Bishop)
from Leofric, who was installed by King Edward
the Confessor and Editha his wife, in the year
1050 ; a chain now stretching on and on through
more than eight centuries of the Church s warfare
and witness for the truth ; a chain which embraces
such indefatigable builder Bishops if I may so call
them as Warelwast, to whom we are indebted for
the two Norman towers of our Cathedral, and to
Marshall at the close of the twelfth century, and
Bronescombe, Quivil, Stapledon, and the noble
Grandison, and others toiling from 1258 to 1370
A.D. ; a chain also embracing the glorious Reforma
tion era. And of these Bishops let me select
Myles Coverdale, to whose translation of the
Bible England owes much, and the saintly Joseph
Hall from 1627 to 1641, and I must include
(for it is a watchword in the West of England),
Trelawney, who was one of the seven Bishops im
prisoned in the year 1688, and who that same year
was translated from Bristol and enthroned in our
Cathedral. Time forbids my touching on other
names, save one still with us, who crowns our
group, Archbishop Temple, but we may all pray to
tread in their footprints so far as they trod in the
steps of our Lord and Master.
" I received yesterday morning the kindest letter
from Lord Clinton, who writes to me. To my
very great regret, I am compelled to give up my
engagement to present to you your portrait on
behalf of the subscribers ; but my London doctor
positively orders complete rest. God grant he may
soon be restored to perfect health, for he is one of
the pillars of England s Church in our Diocese.
Lord Clinton goes on to speak of the difficulties
and anxieties which beset us at the present time.
But, as I have often said in public, there are, I
believe, very few Churchmen in our happy Diocese
who are not loyal to their Mother Church. Is
it too presumptuous to say that the occasion on
which we meet this afternoon is, in itself, one
testimony among many others, that clergy and
laity are closely knit together, and that both
look upon their Bishop without any mistrust or
suspicion ? They surely must trust him as he
trusts them, or why do they care to perpetuate any
reminiscence of their Bishop by a costly portrait ?
Confiding leads to confidence ; trust begets trust
worthiness. As Keble says :
* Sweet is the smile of home, the mutual look,
Where hearts are of each other sure.
We feel at home one with another. If there are
any wandering sheep or lambs, true shepherds seek
till they find the wanderers, and bring them back to
the fold, and feed them in green pastures and by
the waters of quietness. And you know well that
your Bishop, supported by his beloved Suffragan
Bishop, and his trusted Archdeacons and Canons,
and Rural - Deans, and Chaplains, and fellow-
labourers, both lay and clerical, would never resort
98 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
to the Courts of Law unless absolutely duty-bound
and conscience-bound, but would desire as your
father in God, only to hold the pastoral staff,
which is but another name and form and office of
the shepherd s crook."
The portrait is a three-quarter length picture in
oil colours, by Mr. A. Cope, the celebrated portrait
painter. The Bishop is represented in his Convo
cation robes, and is sitting as many will recall
him with his head resting upon his hand. It
is undoubtedly a faithful picture, the only point on
which criticism has been offered being that the
mouth is somewhat rigid. The Convocation robes
have afforded the artist the opportunity of putting
a considerable amount of colour into the portrait,
and this he has managed extremely well.
NOTE. This letter from his old friend the Bishop of Durham (Dr.
Westcott), was written just after the Lambeth Conference, and on the
eve of the death of Bishop Edward Bickersteth. It is pathetic as
expressing hopes which were destined to be speedily disappointed :
"Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, August 3, 1897:
"My DEAR BROTHER,
" It is most kind of you to send me a memorial of the Con
ference. I possess the book already, with a more special inscription,
and I can therefore send this copy to our elder missionary son, Arthur
(at Madras), who is a great student of hymns, and will value it greatly.
" You can imagine how great a disappointment it was to me not to
be able to meet the brethren face to face, but the doctor s orders
were peremptory, and I could not but recognize that they were right.
My breakdown was complete. However, I shall be able to leave
home to-morrow, and I am assured that if I can take a complete rest
(How can I?) till the end of September, I shall recover my usual
" I was very sorry to hear what you tell me of your son Edward.
Will you give him my affectionate remembrances ? The winter will, I
trust, fully restore him. I can imagine how you have suffered from
the heat at Lambeth. You will, I hope, have a refreshing summer.
" Yours affectionately,
"B. F. DUNELM."
Literary work " Yesterday, To-day and For Ever " Analysis of the
Poem Its Reception Other Verse The Hymnal Companion Its
Characteristics The Bishop on Hymnology es From Year to Year"
e Peace, perfect Peace " Commentary on the New Testament
The "Rock of Ages" "The Spirit of Life" "The Master s
Home Call" "The Shadowed Home" "The Feast of Divine
Love " " Thoughts in Past Years."
" He touched his harp and nations heard entranced."
" Et fortassis inveniet pius pulsator quod temerarius scrutator non
posset." ST. BERNARD, " Sermons on Canticles," xxvi. 1
BISHOP BICKERSTETH S retirement from active work
towards the close of the year 1900, will afford a
convenient break for the purposes of a review of
his literary and missionary labours, which will be
given in this and the succeeding chapter.
His most famous writings were his poems, and
the Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common
Prayer which he compiled. Though the author
of a large number of theological and devotional
works, some of which had an immense circulation,
to his contemporaries he was most widely known
and admired as a religious poet. He was recog
nized as being one of the sweet singers of the
1 The sense of these words may thus be paraphrased. f He who
knocks reverently at the door will, perchance, find what the rash
investigator must seek in vain." St. Bernard is speaking of the spirit
in which the study of Holy Scripture should be undertaken.
100 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Israel of God in his day, and whilst his poetry
appealed most powerfully to the Protestant element
in Anglo-Saxon Christendom, there were those in
the Roman Catholic Church who were attracted
by it, as will appear from the letter of John Henry
Newman on the poem, "Yesterday, To-day and
It is not easy to differentiate Bishop Bicker-
steth s verse. It has no single quality which may
not be found in greater degree in the poetry of
" The grand old Masters and the Bards sublime,"
though in many passages he approaches very nearly
to; them. Imagination and pathos, solemnity and
sublimity, simplicity and strength, sweetness and
tenderness, deftness and delicacy of touch, he has
these elements of true poetic power in a very high
degree. But there is something besides, which
gives his poetry its chief characteristic. It is
pervaded, as it were, by a luminous ether of
spirituality and heavenly-mindedness, which he
derived from a close walk with God.
The publication of " Yesterday, To-day and
For Ever " in 1866, at once brought his name
before a world-wide circle of readers. He thus
describes the motif of the book in his prefatory
" The design of the following poem has been
laid up in my heart for more than twenty years.
Other claims, however, prevented me from seriously
undertaking the work until little more than two
years ago. But then the deep conviction that
those solemn events, to which the latter books of
my poem relate, were already beginning to cast
their prophetic lights and shadows upon the world,
constrained me to make the attempt. If it may
please God to awaken any minds to deeper, thoughts
on things unseen and eternal by this humble effort
to combine some of the pictorial teaching supplied
by His most Holy Word, it will be the answer
to many prayers."
The boldness of such an attempt was startling,
whilst the sustained ease, the buoyancy and strength
with which the author maintained his flight and
soared aloft in regions of thought, hitherto visited
but by few poets, were still more surprising. Not
many have been found to venture upon a pre
serve which had come to be regarded as belonging
exclusively to Dante and Milton.
The mind of the writer of " Yesterday, To-day
and For Ever" had indeed been steeped in the
writings of these immortal Christian poets ; it
had learned to fly, as it were, under their wing.
But it is clear to his readers that Holy Scripture,
read, studied, meditated upon, and interwoven into
the very texture of his thought, was the great
reservoir from which he drew his inspiration.
Some of his critics have pointed out that in
respect of the inwardness of his knowledge of the
sacred writings, he more than rivalled his immortal
precursors. However this may be, he came and
went at will in realms which they had made their
own. He was free of that celestial country, which
he explored at will, and wherein he felt too much
at home to confine himself to the tracks which
they had opened before him.
The scope and range of the poem can only be
102 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
briefly indicated here. It will be necessary for
such a purpose to quote at length a few passages,
which would suffer from compression. These are
difficult to select amidst a profusion which is
bewildering and which reminds one of Sinbad
in the valley of diamonds. The poem consists
of twelve books, the subjects of which are as
I. The Seer s Death and Descent into Hades.
II. The Paradise of the Blessed Dead. III. The
Prison of the Lost. IV. The Creation of Angels
and Men. V. The Fall of Angels and of Men.
VI. The Empire of Darkness. VII. Redemption.
VIII. The Church Militant. IX. The Bridal of
the Lamb. X. The Millenial Sabbath. XI. The
Last Judgment. XII. The Many Mansions.
A short account of each Book will be given
with references and occasional extracts.
The first Book tells of the Seer s own death
and descent into Hades, an introduction to the
great subject of the poem which was confessedly
unique. The call to leave the world, the account
of what he felt when it came, the farewells to his
family and his last prayer for them, are very
" I whispered to my wife, f The time is short,
I hear the Spirit and the Bride say " Come,"
And Jesus answering, "I come quickly." Listen !
And as she wiped the death-dews from my brow.
She falter d, e He is very near/ and I
Could only faintly say, Amen, amen,
And then my power of utterance was gone :
I beckoned and was speechless : I was more
Than ankle deep in Jordan s icy stream.
My children stood upon its utmost verge,
Gazing imploringly, persuasively,
While the words, Dear, dear father, now and then
Would drop, like dew, from their unconscious lips,
My gentle wife, with love stronger than death,
Was leaning over those cold gliding waves,
I heard them speaking, but could make no sign ;
I saw them weeping, but could shed no tear ;
I felt their touch upon my flickering pulse,
Their breath upon my cheek, but I could give
No answering pressure to the fond hands pressed
In mine. So rapidly the river bed
Shelved downward. I had passed or almost passed
Beyond the interchange of loving signs
Into the very world of love itself.
The waters were about my knees ; they washed
My loins ; and still they deepen d. Unawares
I saw, I listened who is He who speaks ?
A Presence and a Voice. That Presence moved
Beside me like a cloud of glory ; and
That voice was like a silver trumpet saying,
Be of good comfort. It is I. Fear not !
And whether now the waters were less deep,
Or I was borne upon invisible arms,
I know not ; but methought my mortal robes
Now only brushed the smoothly gliding stream,
And like the edges of a sunset cloud
The beatific land before me lay.
One long last look behind me ; gradually
The figures faded on the shore of time,
And as the passing bell of midnight struck,
One sob, one effort and my spirit was free."
(Book I. 364-405.)
A few lines further on, Oriel his guardian angel
is thus introduced
" Brother, thou art by my side,
By me thy guardian angel, who have watch d
Thy footsteps from the wicket gate of life,
And now am here to tend thy pathway home."
As the passage describing the Seer s departure
from earth has been quoted, a few lines telling
104 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
of his welcome in Paradise should also be
" Welcome to heaven, dear brother, welcome home !
Welcome to thy inheritance of light !
Welcome for ever to thy Master s joy !
Thy work is done, thy pilgrimage is past ;
Thy guardian angel s vigil is fulfill d ;
Thy parents wait thee in the howers of bliss ;
Thy infant babes have woven wreaths for thee ;
Thy brethren who have entered into rest
Long for thy coming ; and the angel choirs
Are ready with their symphonies of praise.
Nor shall thy voice be mute : a golden harp
For thee is hanging on the trees of life ;
And sweetly shall its chords for ever ring,
Responsive to thy touch of ecstasy,
With hallelujahs to thy Lord and ours."
(Book I. 846-860).
In Book II. the Seer under the conduct of
Oriel, descends into the lower world, and at length
reaches Paradise, where the climax is reached in
lines full of pathos, which describe the Seer s
meeting with his Divine Master, Christ the Lord.
"And as I spake/ etc. (II. 150-202).
Then he tells with great beauty of his greeting
with " those loved long since and lost awhile," his
children who had died in infancy, his parents,
members of his flock, and others. And here he
broaches the novel view that such as die as babes
continue to be
"... babes of light
In God s great household.
A babe in glory is a babe for ever.
The thought is worked out in detail with much
grace and ingenuity.
Book III. carries the Seer to the prison of the
Lost, which is visible from the uttermost border
of Paradise. The descriptions are powerful and
vivid. Oriel tells of three visits which he had
made as " the Guardian of lost Souls to that dual
realm." One incident, that of Theodore, a youth
in the days of Constantine the Great who had
apostatized in order to win a heathen bride and
had died impenitent, is narrated with great dramatic
force and realism.
When Theodore asks Oriel to tell Irene of his
doom and warn her to repent, and also to comfort
his mother who may be searching for him in
Paradise, the angel replies in accents of mingled
sorrow and reproof (Book III. 685-698).
Book IV. treats of the creation of angels and
men which Oriel recounts to his ward. It opens
with an apostrophe to tears, which is a gem of
beauty but too long to quote. The Seer had been
overcome with grief at the scenes which he had
witnessed in the prison house of the Lost. He
" Yes, there are tears in heaven ; love ever breathes
Compassion ; and compassion without tears
Would lack its truest utterance : saints weep
And angels : there no bitterness
Troubles the crystal spring."
(Book IV. 65-69.)
Oriel accedes to his request that he might hear
from his lips the story of Creation. He shows how
God created angels and men with the awful pre
rogative of free will. The angels were warned
that their trial would come (Book IV. 472-481,
106 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
The Book concludes with the story of man s
creation, his introduction into Paradise, and the
charge given him to be steadfast in obedience.
In Book V. the catastrophe of the Fall is por
trayed, and here is perhaps the most original of all
the poet s conceptions. He holds that the fall of
the angels and of man was all but contemporaneous.
Man in his planet home was committed to the over
sight of the loftiest of created spirits, "Lucifer,
Son of the Morning." His attempts to seduce the
angels from their allegiance are narrated with much
vigour, and Oriel tells how he was deputed, with a
band of angelic warriors, to guard mankind s first
parents from all ghostly violence
" Other temptations, warned, themselves must shun."
The Fall of Man is treated with much force
and freshness. The serpent decoys Adam away
from Eve, and so gains access to her for the accom
plishment of his fell design. The rest of the story
traverses ground which is familiar to the reader of
Milton. Adam is represented as saying
"Both cannot live, and therefore both must die,
So saying, from her hand he took and ate,
Not circumvented by the serpent s fraud
But blindly overcome by human love,
Love s semblance which belied its name, denying
The great Creator for the creature s sake."
(Book V. 525-530.)
Book VI. continues the thread of Oriel s story
in which is described the progress of the Empire
of Darkness. The plottings and machinations of
Satan, his malice with the apparent success which
attended it, during the weary ages between the
Fall and the First Advent, are depicted with an
animation that bears the reader along with
One, among many instances of the writer s un
conventional treatment of well-worn subjects, is
the Speech of Mammon, Milton s "least erected
spirit of all that fell" in the synod of the Apostate
Angels. The passage begins thus
" I too have poised the heart of man, and watched
With sleepless eye what avenue may best
Yield us access. And here I answer, Gold.
Smile not that yellow dust should have such power ;
For what is Man hut dust ? What marvel then
Dust over dust holds sway ? "
(Book VI. 240-245.)
The next Book (VII.) begins the story of Re
demption, which is ushered in by Gabriel appearing
to Oriel, as he mused over the prophet s words,
" Watchman, what of the night ? " and saying
" . . . Brother,
The morning cometh, and the night : beyond
All is unclouded everlasting day.
This very hour the Sun of Righteousness
Peers o er the horizon, Virgin-born to-night
Within the crowded gates of Bethlehem
A Babe, who owns no human sire, is lying
Upon His mother s bosom."
(Book VII. 64-71.)
The earthly life of the Incarnate Son is sketched
in words from which the task of selection is diffi
cult, but the devout reader will scan them with
delight. A glorious climax is reached in the
description of the Lord s Ascension into heaven,
and His royal progress to the right hand of the
Majesty on High (Book VII. 1008-1108).
108 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
In Book VIII. the author conceives that the
conflicts of the Church on earth have had their
counterpart in heaven, basing his view on Rev. xii.
7-12, and that this warfare takes place, not as with
Milton before the creation of man, but after the
Ascension of Christ. The fortresses of Satan are
stormed by the celestial hosts, and the Devil and
his angels are cast down to hell. A very fine
description is that of the martyrdom of Perpetua
(lines 218-250),and the author, unlike Milton, makes
the holy angels liable to wounds, Oriel himself
receiving a scar (Ibid. 490-503.)
The subject of Book IX. is the Bridal of the
Lamb, which is ushered in by the trumpet of the
Archangel, when the dead in Christ are raised.
The spirits of the blest are gathered in one great
multitude, clothed in their glorified bodies, whilst
those who are alive and remain on the earth, are
caught up to meet them in the air. The reception
of the Bride is set forth in a passage of great
beauty, ending with the words
" Wife of the Lamb, known only by His name :
Oh finite image of the Infinite :
Oh holy creaturehood, perfect at last :
Oh true Self raised to true unselfishness,
Living for Him alone, who is thy life,
All and in all for Him, as He for God."
(Book IX. 490-495.)
The increase of bliss to the redeemed, when
clothed upon with their glorified bodies, is couched
in striking couplets
" These bodies of our glory could sustain
More of His glory than the naked spirit ;
Our pure affections His affections clasped ;
And every power within us had some hold
On His Omnipotence. Like imaged like,
And, as with us, so was it with the rest :
To all a vast promotion of their bliss,
To each the increase, as each sowed on earth.
Love only can know love. And as they loved
They knew Him. As they knew Him, they returned
His lineaments of beatific light :
So glory is proportionate to grace.
(Book IX. 556-567).
In Book X. the author is on ground of all others
the most debatable. He belonged to a school of
thought in the Church which has had its repre
sentatives from very early times, and which holds
that the first resurrection will usher in the visible
reign of Christ upon the earth for a thousand years.
Though perhaps the great number of those who
read the poem will not see their way clear to a
belief in the Premillenial Advent and Personal
Reign of Christ on this earth, they cannot but
follow the course of the poem with admiration
and sympathy. The book begins with a beautiful
description of the earthly Sabbath, the type and
pledge of the Millenial. Some who have not
present access to the poem may be glad to read
" A Sabbath morn softly the village bells
Ring out their welcome to the sacred day.
The weary swain has drunk of longer sleep,
And now, his children clustering round him, leads
The happy group from under his low porch
And through the little garden, where each plucks
A rose or pansy, to the school they love :
The busy hum delights his ear : and soon
The morning hymn floats heavenward ; but himself,
Holding the youngest prattler in his arms,
Waits in the churchyard, where about him lie
His father, and his father s fathers, till,
The children following in their pastor s steps
Whose grey locks flutter in the summer breeze,
110 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
All pass beneath the hallowed roof, and all
Kneeling, where generations past have knelt,
Pour forth their common wants in common prayer.
A rural Sabbath nearest type of heaven ;
Yet scarcely less beloved in toil-worn courts
And alleys of the city. What true heart
Loves not the Sabbath ? that dear pledge of home ;
That trysting place of God and man ; that link
Betwixt a near eternity and time ;
That almost lonely rivulet, which flows
From Eden through the world s wide waste of sand
Unchecked, and though not unalloyed with earth
Its healing water all impregned with life,
The life of their first blessing, to pure lips
The memory of a bygone Paradise,
The earnest of a Paradise to come.
Who know thee best, love best, thou pearl of days,
And guard thee with most jealous care from morn
Till dewy evening, when the ceaseless play
Hour after hour of thy sweet influences
Has turned the heart of pilgrims to the songs
And music of their heavenly fatherland.
But mortal ears are heavy, and mortal eyes
Catch only glimpses dim and indistinct
Of things unseen, beauteous but far away ;
Enough to quicken, but not satiate love ;
And the soon weary spirit exhausted sighs
For wings to fly away, and be at rest,
Or solaces its musings, there remains
A Sabbath for the toiling Church of God."
(Book X. 1-44.)
The portraiture of the Messiah reigning in
Jerusalem is also of surpassing beauty. It begins,
" The voice of the Lord is on the waters " (Book X.
In Book XI. the subject of the Last Judgment
is set forth with much impressiveness. The evil
angels are loosed, and there comes the final con
flict, with the utter overthrow of the Powers of
Darkness. Next, the fallen spirits and the souls
of all mankind are brought to the Great White
Throne to hear their doom. The redeemed receive
their crowns amidst the rejoicings of the heavenly
The lines which describe the sentence pro
nounced upon the arch-tempter (680-702) and
the judgment of the lost, are most solemn and
And finally, in Book XII., the author is upon
ground hitherto all but untrodden, and where he
exercises the whole array of his powers. His theme
is the state of the earth after the final judgment,
together with the Heavenly Zion and its many
mansions, the coronation of the Bridegroom, the
glories and pursuits of the blessed, and he treats
it throughout with the utmost reverence, even
where the flights of his imagination are boldest
The poem closes with a passage equal in tenderness
and sublimity to any which have preceded it
" Such are the many kingdoms of God s realm ;
And in these boundless provinces of light
We who once suffered with a suffering Lord
Reign with Him in His glory, unto each
According to his power and proven love
His rule assign d. But Zion is our home ;
Jerusalem, the city of our God.
O happy home ! O happy children here !
O blissfurmansions of our Father s house !
O walks surpassing Eden for delight !
Here are the harvests reap d once sown in tears :
Here is the rest by ministry enhanced :
Here is the banquet of the wine of heaven,
Riches of glory incorruptible,
Crowns, amaranthine crowns of victory,
The voice of harpers harping on their harps,
The anthems of the holy cherubim,
The crystal river of the Spirit s joy,
The Bridal palace of the Prince of Peace,
The Holiest of Holies God is here."
EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
The poem has had from the outset an immense
circulation, upwards of 27,000 copies of it having
been sold in England and more than 50,000 in
America. It will have a distinct value for students
of the religious life of its time because of the wide
spread influence which it has exerted, even if it
should not find any considerable number of readers
in the future. Vaticinations as to literary longevity
are very precarious. The author continued to
receive testimonies to the helpfulness of the book
up to the close of his life. In 1872 he was per
mitted to know that selections from the poem had
been read aloud by the Queen, then Princess of
Wales, at the bedside of the King while he was
recovering from the serious illness which had caused
such wide-spread anxiety throughout the country.
As might be expected, there were many
criticisms both adverse and favourable, but the
one of most general interest will be found in a
letter from John Henry Newman, with whom the
author had been in correspondence, and to whom
he had sent a copy of his book :
"The Oratory, July 11, 1874.
"My DEAR SIR,
" I should have thanked you for the gift
of your volume before this, had I not been away
from this place, and without the opportunity of
" I will not say even now that I have read it
through, for you may easily conceive that there
are portions of it which are too distressing to me,
and too sadly recall to my mind my own thoughts
when I stood where you stand, to allow me calmly
to dwell upon them ; but I gladly bear witness to
the imagination, the powers of language and easy
eloquence, and the beautiful spirit which are cha
racteristics of your poem as a whole ; and I can but
bow before the great mystery, that those are divided
here and look for the means of grace and glory in
such different directions, who have so much in
common in faith and hope.
" I am, Dear Sir,
" With much respect,
" Most truly yours,
"JOHN H. NEWMAN."
The poetic taste of Bishop Bickersteth qualified
him pre-eminently for work in the field of
Hymnology. This he began in 1858 when he
brought out a book entitled " Psalms and Hymns
based on the Christian Psalmody of the late Rev.
Edward Bickersteth, Rector of Watton, Herts."
In 1870 he issued a new book " The Hymnal
Companion to the Book of Common Prayer."
"If I might humbly take up, though with
most unequal hands, the mantle which fell
from my beloved father, and, aided by very many
appliances not in existence forty years ago, but
now at the service of every editor, if it might thus
be permitted me in any way to advance a cause
which he had so much at heart, and which is so
intimately bound up with the spiritual life of the
Church, I should esteem it one of the greatest
mercies of my ministry."
He brought out a third edition of the
Hymnal Companion twenty years later, revised
and enlarged, which is his final legacy in this
respect to the Church. Within a few years,
114 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
like Aaron s Rod which swallowed up the rods
of the Magicians in Egypt, it superseded the
large number of private compilations which had
been in use in the Evangelical parishes of England.
Up to the present time it has kept the lead
then taken. But in the year 1866, Hymns
Ancient and Modern had been published, a book
which appealed in a remarkable way to much of
the Churchmanship of the day, and which had
a tremendous vogue. Its music too was better
than anything which had as yet appeared. The
Hymnal Companion was therefore at a dis
advantage ; it found much of the ground covered
which it might have occupied, had it been sooner
in the field. But the Evangelical school in the
Church adopted it almost without exception, and
its circulation has been very large. It differs from
Hymns Ancient and Modern in its larger proportion
of subjective hymns, and also in its sacramental
hymns which aim at a more moderate expression
of Eucharistic doctrine.
The Editor of the Hymnal Companion to
the Book of Common Prayer was happy in the
choice of a title. It is literally a companion to
the Prayer-book which it illustrates in verse and
" The order of the Ecclesiastical year is observed.
It is not, indeed, thought well to assign to every
hymn its position under a certain Sunday or holy day,
which seems to hamper its free use on other occasions ;
but they are all ranged under those divisions of the
Prayer-book with which their subjects most easily
On one occasion it greatly amused him to
be taken to task for placing hymns in the list at
the beginning of the book, under the heading
" Annunciation of our Lady." He referred his
critic to " the Lessons Proper for Holy Days " in
the beginning of the Prayer-book. The introduc
tion to the Annotated Edition of the Hymnal
Companion deals with hymnology in a way which
is both thorough and delightful. The late Lord
Selborne, then Sir Roundell Palmer, himself a high
authority upon the subject, eulogized it as a master
piece of English writing. Here again the task of a
compiler is difficult, because there is so much which
he would fain include in his sketch. And it is a
pity that such a treatise should be hidden away in
a preface, where it can only be read by the few
whose attention is specially directed to it. The
Editor points out that the great variety of hymnals
in the Church of England is both a sign of vitality
and a source of weakness. He apologizes for adding
yet another to the already confused and confusing
multitude of hymnals, and pleads that his compila
tion may point the way to a solution of many
acknowledged perplexities. He does not offer the
simple result of his personal predilections, but a
selection of hymns which have most widely com
mended themselves to the Church. There follows
next a list of the hymnals collated, about twenty-
three in all. Many hymns embodied in Noncon
formist hymn-books show that, amidst so much
which tends to separate and to widen the breaches
in the walls of Zion, this harmony of song is no
weak bond of union.
116 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
He speaks of the above hymnals as his "Friends
in Council," and of having again and again modified
his own previous decision from the effect of their
combined or preponderating judgment. In a great
majority of the hymns, the harmony of doctrine, he
adds, is most remarkable, as if Christians forgot
their differences when singing their praises to God.
But on the other hand, if the crucial test of Sacra
mental hymns be taken, one of the volumes he had
mentioned contained many hymns on the Sacra
ment of the Lord s Supper, the doctrine of which
is hardly to be distinguished from that of Rome, while
another did not allude to the Sacrament of Baptism.
Again, the Prayer-book has been the constant
standard of reference in respect of the subject-
matter of the hymns. And the Prayer-book ever
appeals to the Holy Scriptures as the supreme rule
He then proceeds to give copious extracts from
Lord Selborne s " Essay on Church Hymnology "
read at the York Congress in 1868. To quote
these, however, would not come within the scope
of this book, admirable as they are. The Editor
pleads for emendations in hymns such as the line
in the last verse of Toplady s "Rock of Ages,"
" When my eyestrings crack in death," which he
does not agree with Lord Selborne in preferring to
the common version, " When my eyelids close in
death." And he mentions instances where varia
tions such as
" Hark the herald angels sing/
" Hark how all the welkin rings,"
have become so stereotyped in public favour, that
a recurrence to the original would do violence to a
As to abridgment, he thinks that hymns of
more than six verses should be sparingly admitted,
but the greater rapidity with which hymns are now
generally sung justifies larger selections.
The Bishop was severely criticized for some
of his additions and emendations to hymns. It
was all but universally felt that a fourth stanza to
"Lead, Kindly Light" was uncalled for. He
admitted as much by its removal to an Appendix
in the last edition of the Hymnal Companion.
The verse had been a comfort to his daughter
Alice at the time of her illness. He had sent a
copy of it to Dr. Newman and also his little book
the " Master s Home Call." In a very friendly
correspondence with Dr. Newman the additional
verse was discussed, and he did not gather that any
objection was made to his use of it in the Hymnal
The lines run as follows
"Meantime, along the narrow, rugged path,
Thyself has trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest for ever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life."
The Editor thinks it would be difficult to over
estimate the strength of the bond of union which
a Book of Common Praise would be in these
anxious and perilous times : but it was not then
1 See Appendix I.
118 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
in sight. He closes this introduction with the
characteristic words :
"My constant prayer has been, in preparing
this hymnal, that no hymn, no line, no word, might
be found in it which should grieve the Blessed
Spirit of love who abides in His Church and
especially inhabits the praises of His people.
Whereinsoever I have failed, the good Lord
pardon His servant in this thing."
Lovers of hymnology will find much to interest
them in the Bishop s notes on various hymns in
the annotated edition of the Hymnal Companion.
He tells us, for instance, that James Montgomery
wrote the well-known hymn, " Prayer is the soul s
sincere desire," at the request of his father, the
Rev. Edward Bickersteth, for his "Treatise on
Allusion will be made later on to the Bishop s
own contributions to the hymns of the Church, in
the account of his book, "From Year to Year."
But there is one of them which requires separate
mention, namely, " Peace, perfect Peace," a hymn
which appeals to the hearts of Christian people
in a way scarcely paralleled in our generation. It
is loved and sung by persons of all ranks and
conditions from the palace to the cottage. It
was said to have been a favourite of Queen
Victoria s. The Bishop s own account of its com
position is, in substance, as follows : He was stay
ing with his family at Harrogate in the summer
of 1875. One Sunday morning at the Parish
Church, the text of the sermon was from the
words, " Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on Thee." That afternoon
he went for a solitary ramble on the moors, and
when he joined his children at tea, he read them
this hymn which he had made during his walk.
Its popularity spread rapidly, and now no collection
of hymns in any English Church or congregation
would be considered complete without it. He
delighted in the numerous testimonies which he
received, as to the blessing and comfort which,
by God s goodness, it had ministered to persons
in various kinds of trouble. It has been translated
into many languages, and the Bishop heard it sung
in Japanese and in Chinese on his tour to the East.
" Peace, perfect Peace " was first sung to the
tune in Hymns Ancient and Modern composed
by A. H. Brown to the hymn, " Draw near and
take the body of the Lord." But it is now oftenest
set to the tune written for it by G. F. Coldbeck,
a student of the Church Missionary College at
The Bishop published three volumes of his
shorter poems. The first came out in 1849, and
was dedicated to his father. It bears the title,
" Poems by Edward Henry Bickersteth, Curate
of Banningham, Norfolk," and includes the three
Prize Poems which obtained the Chancellor s Medal
at the Cambridge Commencement in the years
1844, 1845, 1846, besides efforts of his earlier
years. They give promise of much of the excel
lence of his later work. His love of music comes
out in some lines, " On the quick movement of
Mozart s Symphony in E flat," and " On the slow
movement of the same."
120 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
In 1871, a second volume, "The Two Brothers
and other Poems," was published, which reached
a second edition by the end of the year. The
success of " Yesterday, To-day and For Ever " had
evidently created a demand for other poems by
its author. Those who love graceful verse, will
find much to charm and soothe in this collection.
They will feel that the writer was indeed one
" Whose songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care ;
And come like the benediction,
That follows after prayer/
He was at home in Scripture subjects which
he ^unfolded with a wealth of imagination, often
illuminating and always reverent. The Bishop
brought out a collection of his most characteristic
hymns and shorter poems, finally revised and
enlarged, in 1893, which he entitled " From Year
to Year." It contains verses for every Sunday
in the Church s year, as well as for the occasional
services of the Prayer-book. It forms an anthology
of his finest poems and hymns. He writes in his
chaste and lucid English as follows :
" It will not, I hope, seem presumptuous to
string inferior pebbles on the same golden thread,
upon which Heber and Keble and Monsell and
Bishop Wordsworth have strung so many pearls
of thought. But England s Church is waking
more and more to the sense of the priceless legacy
bequeathed her from the earliest ages in her
Christian Year, as mapped out in her Prayer-book.
The facts of our most holy faith stand out in
bolder relief, as her children review them day by
day, or week by week, in orderly succession. The
field is the world of Revelation. And if it may
be granted the preacher or singer to present in
clearer outline, by sermon or song, any one of the
manifold truths, selected by the Church for our
meditation on any Sunday or Holy Day, his labour
will not be in vain."
The Bishop s best known hymns occur in the
course of the Sundays of the year. His Missionary
hymns fall naturally into the Epiphany Season
together with the beautiful " Litany to the Eternal
Father." " Peace, perfect Peace " comes after the
Second Collect for Evening Prayer, and the Com
munion hymn, " Till He Come," after the opening
words of the Epistle for the Fourth Sunday in
Advent. On the First Sunday after Christmas
there is the exquisite lyric, one of the finest in
the whole collection
" O God, the Rock of Ages,
Who evermore hast been,
What time the tempest rages,
Our dwelling place serene :
Before Thy first creations,
O Lord, the same as now,
To endless generations,
Our years are like the shadows
On sunny hills that lie,
Or grasses in the meadows,
That blossom but to die ;
A sleep, a dream/a story
By strangers quickly told,
An unremaining glory
Of things that soon are old.
O Thou, who canst not slumber,
Whose light grows never pale,
Teach us aright to number
Our years before they fail.
122 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
On us Thy mercy lighten,
On us Thy goodness rest,
And let Thy Spirit brighten,
The hearts Thyself hast blest.
Lord, crown our faith s endeavour
With beauty and with grace,
Till, clothed in light for ever,
We see Thee face to face :
A joy no language measures ;
A fountain brimming o er ;
An endless flow of pleasures ;
An ocean without shore."
Verses for the occasional offices of the Church,
such as those for Confirmation, Holy Matrimony,
Visitation of the Sick, the Communion of the Sick,
the Burial of the Dead, Commination, For those
at Sea, will be found very appropriate. Other
favourite hymns by the Bishop are " Come ye your
selves apart and rest awhile," and " Pray, always
Pray." He also brought out a Septette of Hymns
for Missions in 1898. These are but specimens
from a book, which is the despair of one who
comes to it for purposes of quotation. Those who
know it well, would be able to select many pieces
of equal beauty. And to others it will prove
no unworthy companion to the Christian Year.
There can be no doubt that the aspiration, ex
pressed in the preface to another of his books,
will have had a manifold fulfilment ; " May He
who directs the windborne seed to the genial soil,
only plant a few winged words in some hearts
where they shall not be wholly unfruitful."
The earliest of the Bishop s prose writings was
a small volume, " Water from the well spring for
the Sabbath hours of Afflicted Believers, being a
complete course of morning and evening medita
tions for every Sunday in the Year," published
in 1852. It was a selection from thoughts on
passages of Scripture, addressed to his sister Frances
during her long illness. It has been out of print
for many years, but is of interest as showing the
bent of his mind from the outset, and how studious
he was in reading and learning the Scriptures.
His first formal treatise was a work addressed
to the Unitarians of England, The Rock of Ages,
in which he collected the testimonies of Holy
Scripture to the Divinity of Christ and the
Doctrine of the Trinity. It was not a heated
polemic or a dry disquisition, but the expression
of a deep conviction that many who refuse to
acknowledge the Godhead of our Lord Jesus
Christ, have never duly examined one line of
scriptural argument, which presented to his own
mind the most conclusive evidence of this founda
tion truth. He adds, " I write from a most affec
tionate concern for their souls, and from a deep
assurance that in the rejection or cordial acceptance
of this truth are bound up the issues of eternal
His lot had been cast where many Unitarians
resided. He praised their kindness and benevolence,
their intellectual culture, their desire for the moral
elevation of the poor. He had faced the very diffi
culties which prevented them from accepting the
Church s creed, and overcome them by prayer and the
written word. He had had many questions brought
before him by Unitarians and others, but he had
met and fought most of them himself. He says
124 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
" I can conceive no purer joy on earth than that
of being permitted to lead some other tempest-
tossed spirit to that faith, where I have found
security and peace. Those I address will at least
find here no artificial fencing, for I am no trained
swordsman in this controversy; but sometimes it
has pleased God to overcome gigantic error, not by
the skilful gladiator clad in the panoply of learning,
but by a few smooth stones from the sling of a
The author of the book had the happiness of
knowing that it had brought light and peace to not
a few who were in doubt and perplexity. It was
widely circulated in England and America, besides
being translated into German. He writes
"The communications which have reached me
on this subject, namely of help derived from the
book, some of them sent to me from dying beds,
and others from the bosom of home-life, may not
be made public, but they lie deep in my heart
among the choicest and most cherished memories
of my ministry."
The book was used as a class-book not only in
schools at home but also by many of the native
catechists of India, and those engaged in missions
to the Jews.
" The Rock of Ages " was followed ten years
later by another book on similar lines, " The Spirit
of Life." It was an expansion of one chapter in
the previous work, which was designed to show
that Scripture in the Old and New Testament
alike, proves the co-equal Godhead of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. It
met with a reception for which its predecessor had
paved the way, and appealed to those who had been
helped by it. His subject is the Personality, the
Godhead, and the sanctifying work of the Holy
Ghost. A single extract from a chapter in which
he deals with the sealing of the Spirit, will exhibit
the freshness of treatment which makes a subject
to live in the mind of its readers.
" The allusion to the seal as a pledge of pur
chase would be particularly intelligible to the
Ephesians, for Ephesus was a maritime city, and
an extensive trade in timber was carried on there
by the ship-masters of the neighbouring ports.
The method of purchase was this : the merchant,
after selecting his timber, stamped it with his own
signet, which was an acknowledged sign of owner
ship. He often did not carry off his possession at
the time ; it was left in the harbour with other
floats of timber ; but it was chosen, bought, and
stamped ; and in due time the merchant sent a
trusty agent with the signet, who, finding the
timber which bore a corresponding impress, claimed
and brought it away for the master s use. Thus
the Holy Spirit impresses on the soul now the
image of Jesus Christ ; and this is the sure pledge
of the everlasting inheritance."
One of the most widely known of the Bishop s
prose writings was " The Master s Home Call,
Brief Memorials of Alice Frances Bickersteth,
by her Father," published in 1872. It consists of
a sermon preached in Christ Church, Hampstead,
after her death, on September 29, 1872, with a
postscript giving the simple story of her life, illness,
and death. The sermon concludes with some lines
126 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
of her own written the year before, on the death of
a friend who had been a great sufferer
" And now her gentle ministries are o er :
The message came for her, and fearlessly
She answered to its summons, Here am I.
She was so happy, for the Lord she loved
Had heard her prayer and granted her request,
And gently, gently, gently led her home.
Safe, safe for ever now, no weary days
Or sleepless nights of pain, no night is there.
Another radiant form in white array d,
Another brow to wear the victor s crown,
Another hand to strike the golden harp,
Another voice to raise the triumph song.
We may not weep for her, we can hut join
The angels song of praise, f Safe home, safe home. "
The following are some verses of which the
writer says, " as we sate by her side and watched
sufferings I was so powerless to relieve, I wrote
them and placed them in her hand
" My lamb, thy path is thorny,
And ruggedest at last !
The close of thy short journey,
With storms is overcast :
But thy Shepherd s arms enfold Thee
His arms of love and power,
And He will ever hold thee
From weary hour to hour.
My pretty one, my blossom,
More loved than words can say,
Upon thy parent s bosom,
Thou could st but fade away :
So weeping we resign thee,
And lay our treasure down,
For Jesus would entwine thee
In His unfading crown.
My own bright jewel, dearest,
The graver s tool is keen,
And sharpest seems when nearest
The emerald s perfect sheen ;
But in the Prince s casket,
All mark its peerless glow,
And none will ever ask it,
Why didst thou suffer so ?
But yet to see thee suffer
Seems harder evermore ;
And the last few waves are rougher
Than all that broke before :
And still the gusts more thickly,
Drive on the blinding foam :
Come quickly, Lord, come quickly,
And take our darling home."
About twenty-seven thousand of "The Master s
Home Call " were printed, and amongst those deeply
affected by it was Mr. Gladstone, who sent copies
of it to many of his friends.
Two years later came " The Reef and other
Parables," a book for young people, which did not,
however, meet with the response which had been
given to other works of the author. The parables
are too elaborate for children, though teachers will
find much that is useful in them. Two character
istic passages may be quoted. The first is from
" Eugene the Debtor "
"Salvation comes straight from the heart of
God to the heart of man. Man has only to receive
it ; I say only to receive it : but where he has
received it, then like Eugene, his life and not his
lips alone, will prove his love."
The other is from Avedah ("that which is
" How I wish it was a visible conflict with
evil, said the boy. There would be something
so heart-stirring in actually seeing the enemy and
grasping the wonderful armour and dealing blows.
128 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
* It is none the less real, my boy, replied Oberlin,
for being invisible. Perhaps if you had one sight
of the hosts of darkness it would be too much for
you to bear. Be sure the Captain of our salvation
has done wisely in veiling the unseen world till His
time is come.
Another book, " Hades and Heaven," discusses
the revelation which Scripture gives of the estate
and employment of the blessed dead and the risen
saints. Much of the ground covered in it has also
been traversed in a later work, " The Shadowed
Home and the Light Beyond." It came out in
1875, and consists of meditations on "The Order for
the Burial of the Dead " in the Book of Common
Prayer. To quote the author s words
" It is designed for perusal in those sacred days
which intervene between the death and burial of
those we love. The closed shutters, or the drawn
blinds, tell of this world being veiled from view for
a season. And it is then, while the beloved taber
nacle still lies in the silent chamber as in a domestic
sanctuary, that the thoughts of the bereaved
mourners instinctively turn to things unseen and
eternal. Now the burial office of our Prayer-book has
gathered together the ample testimony of Scripture
regarding the holy dead, and presented it for <>ur
spirits in the most admirable sequence of thought."
Such a book cannot fail to enable those who mourn
to take a more intelligent part in the most touching
of all the offices of the Church.
The book is one to be read rather than quoted,
and yet a paragraph or two may be given from this
treasury of comfort for the bereaved. Here is a
passage from the meditation on " The Threefold
" It seems as if the cry of the publican, standing
afar off in the temple, deeming himself unworthy
to lift up his eyes to heaven, but smiting on his
breast and saying, * Grod be merciful to me a sinner J
were never long absent from the minds of the com
pilers of our liturgy. This threefold miserere is
interwoven with the order for Morning and Evening
Prayer, with the Litany, with the Office for Holy
Matrimony, and The Thanksgiving after Child
birth, with the service for the first day of Lent,
and with that for the Visitation of the Sick : and
its spirit interpenetrates all the other offices of the
Prayer Book. But never does it awaken a deeper
response in the heart than when we are standing
by the yet unclosed grave of one whom we shall
not see again in the flesh, until the day of the
manifestation of the sons of God. :
Just before this meditation there come the beautiful
and most touching verses, " Hush, blessed are the
dead," to which reference has been made in " From
Year to Year."
The book upon which Bishop Bickersteth ex
pended most thought and study was his " Practical
and Expository Commentary on the New Testa
ment," which was begun in 1860 and completed
four years later. His guiding principle is expressed
in the title page by some words from the writings
of the late Rev. W. Tait
" The words of God are to theology what the
facts are to science : they may not be set aside by
reasoning whether we can harmonize them or not,
they claim the obedience of faith."
130 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
The object of the commentary, it was stated,
was "to provide such brief remarks from Holy
Scripture as the educated classes of the day might
read to their families at morning or evening worship,
that golden girdle of family life.
He sought to embody the results of some of the
best English criticism then at his disposal. The
notes will show that he had read widely, and thought
out carefully and patiently the views which he
sets forth. He felt that the responsibility of
quoting or condensing the conclusions of other
interpreters was scarcely inferior to expressing
his own. He was often "tempted to argue at
length against views from which he heartily dis
sented," but he bore in mind the difference between
a reviewer and a commentator, a course which
" preserved him from turning aside from the green
pastures and still waters of Holy Writ, to wander
on the bleak and barren mountains of controversy."
Such a work lay in the direction towards which
he delighted " to draw his cares and studies," and
he had the great satisfaction of knowing that the
Commentary had met a real want, more than forty
thousand copies having been sold. It was a bulky
folio, and not easy withal to handle, yet it served
its generation well, though now but little known.
One or two short extracts will account for the large
amount of favour with which it met. On St.
Matt. xii. 1-8, he says
" It is often urged that Christ released us
from a strict observance of this day, i.e., the
Sabbath. If we consider the instances He allowed,
we shall find that He delivered us from ritual
bondage, and from the superstitions with which
man had overlaid God s ordinances, and nothing
more. He sanctioned : (1) Works of necessity,
as here the plucking of the ears of corn, or
leading an ox or ass to the watering (Luke xiii.
15. (2) Works of mercy, as here lifting the sheep
from the pit into which it had fallen ; such as
ministering to the sick, for on this day he healed
the man with the withered hand, the woman who
was bowed together, the man who had the dropsy,
and another who was blind. (3) Works of piety,
as here he adduces the example of the priests who,
in the temple, profane the Sabbath and are blame
less ; and he allowed circumcision on the Sabbath,
that the law of Moses might not be broken. But
are these the relaxations sought in the present day
by those who impugn the sanctity of the Sabbath ?
Who would hinder the servants of Christ from
such a like participation of food in their ministries
of love ? Who would refuse the dumb pleadings
of a suffering or starving animal ? Who would
turn a deaf ear to the misery of his fellow-creature
and deny the aid of medicine and skill ? Who
would charge God s ministers with impiety for
performing the duties of the Sanctuary, and ad
ministering the Sacraments of His love ? How
unlike are these things to the frivolous dissipation,
the merely secular instruction, the pleasurable
excursion, the unhallowed buying and selling which
men legalize and defend ! It is, indeed, surface
study of this and other passages, which imagines
that Scripture tends to, and countenances, the
desecration of God s day."
Again in St. John xiv. 23
"We will come" We, my Father and I,
one God. This, then, in its first meaning, was
a spiritual Advent, the drawing near of God
132 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
to the soul, the indwelling of God in the hearts
of His people. With such language the Old
Testament had made them familiar. " Come
and save us ; " " O, when wilt Thou come unto
me?" (Ps. Ixxx. 2 ; ci. 3 ; Ex. xxix. 45). This
assurance seems to have calmed and tranquilized
every one there. Love would discern the Beloved,
while disobedience, sure proof of the absence of
love (ver. 24) would be blind to this spiritual pre
sence of the Father and the Son, and deaf to the
voice of Him who only expressed the will of His
Heavenly Father." l
At Hampstead he had brought out a small
Manual, founded upon his father s " Treatise on
the Lord s Supper," and which was entitled, " The
Lord s Table." This he revised and published in
1896 under the title, " The Feast of Divine Love."
It is just what those who are familiar with the
writings of the Bishop would expect simple,
earnest, thoughtful, abounding in passages of great
tenderness and beauty ; a book exceedingly help
ful to those who would " draw near with faith and
take this Holy Sacrament to their comfort."
He also published the charges delivered in the
course of his Visitations, selections from which are
contained in a small volume entitled " Some Words
of Counsel." 2
After his retirement in 1900, the Bishop edited
a volume of eighteen sermons, " Thoughts in Past
Years," five of which were delivered when he
was Vicar of Christ Church, Hampstead, and the
1 For an account of a new edition of the Commentary upon which
the Bishop worked for some years, see Appendix II.
2 See Appendix IV.
remainder during the period of his episcopate.
Attention may be called to several of them which
were preached upon noteworthy themes and
In 1876 he was asked to deliver one of a series of
lectures in St. James , Piccadilly, on " Companions
to the Devout Life" the subject assigned to him
being Milton s " Paradise Lost." He had studied
Milton from his boyhood, and could repeat long
passages of it in early days. Those who love
Milton will find it excellent reading. He says
" Pictorial teaching has a vast though undefined,
and often unsuspected power ; and with most of us,
perhaps, who are here present to-day, the pictures
of Milton s great Epic are like stained glass
windows in the oratory of the soul, many of
them very beautiful, and after Heaven s own de
sign, but some of them, I venture to think, not
altogether in harmony with the Scriptures of truth."
The features of " Paradise Lost " most helpful
to the devotional life, are its pictures of Eden
before the fall : its delineation of human love : its
sketches of the ministry of angels. The unfolding
of these must be taken as a whole, for excerpts
would but mar the symmetry and beauty of the
thought. Again he says
" It has been almost universally felt that
Satan is the hero of Paradise Lost/ and that
despite ourselves, our interest gathers round
the fallen Lucifer, who in his illimitable pride
is fighting against illimitable power. Perhaps
the greatest effort of poetry in the whole volume,
I had nearly said in the English language, is
134 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Satan s soliloquy in the opening of the Fourth
Book, when after forcing his way out of Tartarus
and treading the confines of Eden, he argues the
reason of his fall."
The peril of this, as the author points out, is
" For, when condign punishment has straight
way followed insurrection against such hopeless
odds, when created might is wrestling with
Omnipotence, and created wisdom with Omni
science, it is difficult not to admire that unbending,
There is a very eloquent passage on page 80
" Two great epics enriched the blood of the
world in the seventeenth century. Paradise Lost
and Pilgrim s Progress were given almost simul
taneously to the Church of God. Each of them
has done its work, and been inwrought into the
very texture of the English mind. How often
has some pictured story from * Milton s Eden or
Bunyan s Pilgrimage, come, like a breeze from the
everlasting hills, to those who confess that they are
strangers here, and that their citizen life is in
heaven ! "
The sermon on " Not by Might " delivered at
his enthronement in Exeter Cathedral, has already
been mentioned. Allusion will be made later to
that on " the Gospel of God s Glory," preached at
the Anniversary of the Church Missionary Society
in St. Bride s, Fleet Street, in April, 1888. Two
others, on " Christianity among the Jews " and
" Oneness in Christ," give utterance to his views
upon subjects which he had greatly at heart, the
latter having been preached at the Jubilee of the
Evangelical Alliance on June 28, 1896. One more
may also be specially noted on " The Choice
of Moses," which he preached before the University
of Cambridge on January 22, 1888. He closed
with a moving appeal to his auditors, to consider
the call to serve in the Mission Field
" As the Bishop of a great Diocese, I know well
the wants of towns and villages at home : but I am
sure it is true of Churches as of men, there is that
scattereth, and yet increaseth ; there is that with-
holdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to
penury. The Church which rises to the Master s
call, Go ye into all the world, and preach the
Gospel to every creature, is the Church, which
will be the most blessed at home, and I would
venture earnestly to ask those who are looking
forward to the ministry of souls, to weigh the
competing claims of home and foreign work, and
to ask themselves whether God is not calling them
to forsake parents and brethren and country for
Christ s sake and the Gospel s. The sacrifice is
great, the reward is inexpressibly greater."
Missionary enthusiasm Visits to India and Palestine, 1880 To Japan,
1891 Extracts from letters and diaries Mr. Eugene Stock s
notes on the Bishop s connection with the Church Missionary
"For My sake and the Gospel s."
ST. MARK x. 29.
ANY account of Bishop Bickersteth which did not
bring out into strong relief the Missionary side
of his career, would be very incomplete. The
Lord s command, " Go ye into all the world and
preach the gospel to every creature," must have
been perpetually in his thoughts. Missionary
interest was like a thread, shot through the web
of his life, which coloured it with its own dis
His well-known Missionary hymn, " O Brothers,
lift your voices," written for the Jubilee of the
Church Missionary Society when he was a deacon,
struck a chord which vibrated throughout the years
that elapsed until the centenary of the Society was
celebrated by him as Bishop of Exeter in 1898.
It was also true of him that " his zeal provoked
very many " : it was infectious, and it gave extra
ordinary success, under God, to his advocacy of
the Missionary cause. He prayed, he pleaded, he
laboured incessantly, " in season and out of season,
through good report and evil report." He was
ever hopeful, sanguine, resourceful. Much of the
spirit of the great missionary apostle St. Paul, on
the day of whose conversion he was born, rested
upon him. The memory of his enthusiasm will
serve as an inspiration to encourage those who are
cast down, and to shame those who are tempted
As instances of his devotion to the Missionary
cause, it should be mentioned that he made each
one of his large family in childhood a member
of the Church Missionary Society ; that he carried
out a system of house-to-house collections for mis
sions in his parish at Hampstead, and that year
by year he took his men s Bible-class in vans to
the meeting of the Church Missionary Society in
This chapter will describe the Bishop s Mis
sionary travels in India, Palestine and Japan. It
will also contain the lucid and eloquent account
of his relations with the Church Missionary Society,
which Mr. Eugene Stock, his staunch and greatly
valued friend, has very kindly contributed.
It was on the 25th of October, 1880, that he
sailed for Bombay with his wife and eldest daughter,
in the City of Baltimore.
His diary and letters give graphic descriptions
of the voyage. He was permitted to hold a daily
service at 10.30, besides the Sunday services, with
celebrations of the Holy Communion and addresses.
There are striking descriptions of nature and
scenery, such as he records on Friday, October 29 :
138 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
"It was the most exquisite sunset, strange shell-
like clouds which blushed celestial rosy red." But
it is only the Missionary side of his journey that
can be recorded in this chapter. A single extract of
interest, however, may be allowed, which describes
a Sunday in the Red Sea
" November 7, 1880.
"We steamed out of sight of Suez and were
in view of the Wells of Moses, the traditional and
perhaps the most likely site of the passage of
the Red Sea. We had service on deck at 10.30,
when we read Exodus xv. as a special first lesson,
within view of probably the very cliffs which had
heard the Song at first."
He writes from Bombay on Friday, Novem
"At 8, Edward, accompanied by Mr. Squires,
who had both been looking about the harbour in
search of our steamer, came on board. Oh, the
inexpressible delight of our eyes resting on his
dear face ! He looked worn and thin, but has had
fever during the last week, and Mr. Robert Clark,
who is here, thinks that two months travel with
us will be the best tonic. Words cannot describe
the hospitality of Mr. Squires : he had us all. ^
Of the Sunday in Bombay he writes
" In the afternoon I addressed some eighty of
the English-speaking residents and others, held in
a Major Oldham s house, and in the evening
preached to a very full Church on, * Love is strong
as death. Many of our ship s passengers came, and
the Captain. On Monday morning we went and
saw the * Robert Money School of 250 pupils,
and I addressed some sixty of them on Christian
Ambition. We then went to the Scotch Presby
terian College, where Edward wanted to see their
plans. It is a most active, energetic work which
is being carried on there."
On the following day he visited a wealthy
and learned Hindu, to whom Sir M. Monier-
Williams, K.C.l.E., 1 had given him a letter of
" I told our friend s son how, as a Christian,
I longed for the time when we should all worship
in one Christian Church ; but that I was sure it
was good for us to get to know one another, as
we should respect each other more. Poor young
man ! he is a widower with two lovely little children,
one three and a half years old, who so took to me,
and one six months. I gave him a copy of my
poem, which he graciously accepted."
" November 25.
"We drove five and a half miles to the Christian
Station at Nasik, a village one and a half miles off
the town, a large town of nearly 30,000 people on
the banks of the Godavery. We had the kindest
welcome from Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, who sent
their servant to meet us at the station. He took
Edward and me all over the Mission Farm,
which is entirely worked by the Christians of the
village. It costs the Society nothing, as it more
than pays its way, and it affords work for the
converts and inquirers."
After describing their methods of cultivation,
he adds :
" By watering and working they have made a
most fruitful out of a barren ground, which thing
1 Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford.
140 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
is a parable. We then saw the Christian girls,
thirty in number Rosie s little Christina from
Khairwarra among them, a fat, chubby child make
and have their breakfast, a flat millet cake and
curry soup ; very happy but very quiet. Alto
gether this is a delightful mission station, and
seems a centre of labour for which we cannot
be sufficiently thankful. We are here 1900 feet
above the sea level, and with a west wind they
get the benefit of sea breezes, though the sea is
sixty miles distant."
His next letter was from Cawnpore Dec. 1,
1880. They had stayed three days at Jubbalpur,
part of which they spent at the Church of England
Zenana Mission, with Miss Brand and Miss Evans.
They drove eleven miles to see the famous marble
"which are wonderfully grand. The river Nar-
budda rushes through precipitous cliffs of marble ;
the white is the loveliest, though some is blue
(they call it heavenly ) and some yellow marble.
They say the river bed is, in places, 200 feet
deep. On the first Sunday in Advent Edward
preached in Hindustani. He spoke with the
greatest facility, and the people hung on his
words. In the evening we attended the English
service, conducted by the chaplain ; good congre
gation, hearty singing, quaint, clever High Church
sermon from a stranger, who looked up to the
ceiling all the time he spoke."
They travelled via Allahabad, where they
changed carriages, and were met at Cawnpore
by " kind Mr. Stone, the chaplain, Montie s friend
at Aijmere, who loaded us with kindness. The
interest of Cawnpore as the site of the Massacre is
almost overpowering. We have been to the
Memorial Church and saw the monument raised
over the well. They are most impressive, and
every few yards is sacred with heroic memories."
On Dec. 7 from Agra
" We had a most enjoyable time at Lucknow,
where we spent four days. Nothing could exceed
the loving welcome which George and Harriet
Durrant gave us. On Thursday we saw all over
the ruined Presidency, which was held with such
Spartan courage by our soldiers in the Mutiny.
We saw the room where Sir Henry Lawrence was
struck by the shell, the house where he died, and
the grave where he was buried by night in silence
in the graveyard, lest any voices should attract the
enemy s fire. The tombstone bears these words,
at his own dying request
who tried to do his duty.
May the Lord have mercy on his soul !
Born 20th June, 1806. Died 4th July, 1857.
I read Dr. Gubbin s account of the Mutiny all
day, being seedy. On Friday, in the afternoon,
we rode on an elephant, which the Colonel kindly
sent us, into the town, and to the old fort where
the powder magazine was blown up during the
siege. On Saturday we saw the vigorous Boys
School of 300 boys, the busiest hive of industry,
under its Christian head-master, Mr. Sietal, such
an intelligent man ; the second master was baptized
last Christmas. It would be indeed cruel to give
up a work like this. On Sunday, Edward preached
to some 1300 men and officers in the Cantonment
Church. George preached in Urdu in the Mission
EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Church in the morning, and I in English in the
evening, and on Monday morning we started quite
early after the most enjoyable visit. We feel
our hearts quite knit to those dear single-hearted
labourers for Christ, who are left to hold the fort
till more prosperous days enable us at Salisbury
Square to send them reinforcements."
"We reached Agra at 11 at night. Here we
have been simply entranced by the Taj its serene
simplicity and purity of taste, and at the same time
its majesty of outline, make you feel you can never
tire of looking at it.
"On Thursday we went again and stayed there
till the evening light bathed the peerless marble in
rose and ruby."
"Ajmere, December 13, 1880.
"Thank God, Edward is wonderfully better,
and felt himself strong enough to attempt the long,
slow journey, twenty-one hours for 232 miles. We
threaded our way among the Raj pootana hills, rising
abruptly from the plains to which our railway
religiously kept. R. and M. met us in one of the
Maharajah s carriages (he has always two at his
command) to their palace home. It is far hand
somer than I expected. The young king and one
of his nobles were present at dinner, though of
course taking nothing, which would have broken
their caste. I had no conception that Ajmere
would be so beautiful : it is far the loveliest place
we have yet seen in India.
" On the evening of the 16th there was a total
eclipse of the moon for nearly two hours. I never
saw one so distinctly as in those crystal skies. But
it was so strange and sad to see the nervous alarm
of the Maharajah. The Hindus say a dragon is
devouring the moon (hence its red colour), and they
appoint a fast ; the young prince s astrologer played
upon the boy s fears, and kept repeating Ram,
Ram, for hours. After dinner we drew the Maha
rajah into the drawing-room, and explained to him
what caused the eclipse with the lamp, and an
orange casting its shadow on our hand. And I
think by degrees his fears subsided, but he was
restless and disquieted. The next morning when
I met him on the tennis-ground, I said, Well,
Maharajah, the moon is none the worse for her
eclipse (for she was shining over our heads on one
side and the sun on the other), nor the sun, are
they ? He laughed, the danger being over. How
I long that the boy may find Christ : a fine open-
hearted fellow. It seems very hard not to be
allowed to point him to the Star of Bethlehem."
Captain Rundall, his son-in-law, was tutor to
" We reached Delhi at nine, and there, at the
station, were Allnutt and Lefroy, Mr. and Mrs.
Winter, and Mr. Maitland, all waiting for us.
Allnutt and I walked, the rest drove, passing
through the ramparts which our brave troops
stormed in 1857. This is a most pleasant bunga
low on rising ground, with plenty of trees round
it. It seems to me in many ways admirably suited
for their little community, their monastery, as they
sometimes gaily call it, though anything more un
like a monastery their happy life here could not be.
They are bright and cheerful, and fond as brothers
of each other. Mr. Lefroy 1 is the housekeeper just
now, and does it admirably. And then, their mis
sionary work is so real and absorbing, they give
their whole heart to it. On Sunday morning I
heard Edward preach another sermon, and came
with them to the Holy Communion. There were
1 Now Bishop of Lahore.
144 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
nearly two hundred in church, but only a few com
municants (some twenty or twenty-four), as they
are probably reserving themselves for Christmas
Day. The joy of the circle was shadowed by Mr.
Blackett s illness ; he has had fever on him, and the
doctor has condemned him to go home immediately.
They hope he may return after two years, but
Murray s and his health failing is a heavy drain on
their party of six.
" On Monday we went over the fort, which was
the palace of the old kings of Delhi, and the centre
of the great Mogul Empire. The marble hall of
audience, richly gilded and inlaid, with its zenana
palace on one side, and its magnificent baths on the
other, scented with countless roses, was magnificent.
And then we went on to the Jumah Musjid, the
largest Mahommedan Mosque in India, and Edward
and I climbed the minaret, from which we had a
wonderful view of this great thriving city. That
night I went out with them to their bazaar preach
ing, such a unique scene, nearly a hundred clustering
round the two catechists who spoke, Allnutt, Edward
and I standing behind them, eager faces looking up
The arrival of his children from Ajmere at
Delhi for Christmas added greatly to the joy of the
festival. He writes on December 26
" While I was preaching yesterday at St. James
(the English church), the Brothers were all at St.
Stephen s, where they had 170 communicants. This
morning I have been preaching by interpretation
there. I stood on the chancel step, and Tarachand,
the native pastor, stood by my side and interpreted
my address, sentence by sentence. I took as my
text, So great salvation, Heb. ii. 3, alluding to
Christmas and the last Sunday in the year, also to
St. Stephen, whose name their church bears."
He mentions speaking at a service held at a
station which was supported by one of the members
of his congregation at Hampstead
" The Christ Church student Botak was too far
off to visit. You would, indeed, thank God for the
vigorous missionary life pervading every part of this
station, and the Cambridge men are so happy in
The travellers, including the Rev. E. Bickersteth
(his son), left Delhi for Lahore on December 27,
as the next letter says, " with hearts full of grati
tude and love," passing through Meerut, with its
immense military cantonment, where the Mutiny
first broke out.
Early in the morning they left the train at
Umritsur, except Edward Bickersteth, who went
on, and spent the day with Mr. Bateman and the
Rev. R. Clark. Mr. Bickersteth addressed the
members of the native Church Council, which was
in session. Many of them were of high position,
for he writes
" At Umritsur the Gospel has conquered men
of rank. It was the most striking result of Christian
missions I have yet seen. Afterwards we drove to
the golden temple of the Sikhs ; their worship is a
mixture of Hinduism and Islamism, no idol in the
temple, but a great book, covered with a cloth,
before which they make offerings of flowers,
fruit, and money. Some rude music was kept up
all the time. We had to take off our shoes and
146 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
wear slippers before we crossed the marble bridge
leading to the temple, which is built in the midst
of a great tank. We also saw the large mission
schoolroom for boys (200), two orphanages for boys
and girls, the Alexandra School, a noble institution
for Christian girls of high caste. Most of them were
away for their Christmas holidays, except some
eight or nine of them, such bright intelligent girls.
I spoke to them of the inscription on the Lollard s
tower, Lambeth, Jesus amor meus. We also
called on the zenana ladies. It was so pleasant to
find Miss Smith (of Hampstead Hill Gardens) so
earnest and happy in the work. If you see her
mother, do tell her how well and bright her daughter
looks. The whole mission is full of life."
Of their visit at Lahore, he says
"The kind Bishop met us at the station, and
drove us and Archdeacon Matthew 1 (the most
fascinating of men) to Bishopstowe in his carriage.
The next morning, December 29, the Synod began
with early service, Holy Communion and part of
the Bishop s charge in the pro- Cathedral. At eleven
o clock we met, some fifty of us, in a large tent
opposite the palace door. The Bishop s opening
address was quite apostolic. I then read my paper
on the Christian Ambassador, and the Bishop
insists on printing it with his charge. My second
paper was delayed till the evening in the Lawrence
Hall ; it was on the love of Christ, and the love of
His appearing. The subjects of the Synod were
varied ; all was full of interest, though our dear
Bishop, the best of men, is not the best of chair
men. But his goodness and profound learning
overcame everything. On Saturday, at night, Mr.
Shirreff and Mr. Weitbrecht invited some sixty of
1 Afterwards Bishop of Lahore.
the native converts. The Bishop sat among them
as if they were his children, and would have me
speak to them while they ate sweetmeats.
" On Monday I attended the Missionary Confer
ence for two hours, and then the Bishop drove us
to the fort, the tomb of Runjit Singh, and the
great mosque where, the Moslem Commissioner
told us, 2000 had been praying that afternoon for
Lord Ripon, as they felt so deep a regard for him,
seeing the Government had helped them to rebuild
" At Benares Edward s kind friend, Mr.
Hackett, the C.M.S. Missionary, met us and
took us to his pleasant home in the suburbs.
Mrs. Hackett is the granddaughter of a delight
ful old lady who has a beautiful estate there, a
Mrs. Kennedy, who will be 94 in March ; but she
is as active as if she were 24. She was married
at 15, had 18 children, of whom 8 are still alive,
the eldest being her dear boy of 75 years ! She
has scores of grandchildren and great grand
children, having had 169 direct descendants born
to her, of whom 118 are still alive. She has lived
all her life in India, and lost eight of her family in
the Mutiny. She always uses your Grandfather s
book of family prayers, and knows our little
* Home Call quite well. So we were made wel
come by her, and I gave her The Shadowed
Home. Benares is the stronghold of Hinduism,
and poor humanity seems enslaved in the bitterest
slavery there. The day we arrived we drove to
the Monkey Temple, where were at least 100
monkeys overrunning every part of it, doorways
and roofs and sculptures and images. It was
piteous to see the devotees, as they entered the
shrine, and seemed to pray to the hideous idol, and
struck a suspended bell ere they went out,
their worship done. Then we went to a lecture
148 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
by Mr. Hooper in the large divinity school, on
The image of God being the dignity of man, to
the learned natives of Benares. There were some
sixty men present, more than half of them young
men. Mr. Hooper invited discussion afterwards,
and I spoke and others."
He describes a row down the Ganges, where
they passed close to one of the burning ghats on
which they burn the dead, also a visit to the
Golden Temple with its Well of Knowledge.
" Surely," he says, " in Benares, Satan s Throne is."
He visited also the Maharajah, to whom they had
a letter of introduction, and he preached on Sunday
at the Station Church.
"At Calcutta the kind Bishop (Dr. Johnson)
had sent his carriage for us (the same carriage which
Bishop Wilson had) and met us on the staircase ;
his sisters soon came and gave us the kindest
welcome, though at seven in the morning. The
Bishop gave his charge to some 65 clergy in the
Cathedral ; it was a good, large-hearted charge.
" I am (D.V.) to preach twice on Sunday. This
afternoon M., Edward, the Bishop of Colombo and
I called on Keshub Chunder Sen, to whom I had
sent Professor Monier- Williams note of introduc
tion. He was most courteous and interesting, and
showed us his little prayer-meeting room in his
house. I gave him my poem, of which the
Professor had written to him. We must try and
hear him give an address next Saturday afternoon.
We had a capital Missionary meeting last night
from 9 to 11 o clock in the Town Hall. Mr.
Whitley, from Chota Nagpore, gave a most
interesting account of his (S.P.G.) work among the
aboriginal Gonds, dear Mr. Vaughan a glowing
address on the C.M.S. work of the last 25 years,
Edward on school work and bazaar preaching, and
I a short address at the end on * How it strikes a
On January 18, the party went to Darjeeling.
Returning on the 22nd, Mr. Bickersteth writes
" We had the most charming four days outing.
It was a great matter to travel nearly 800 miles to
see mountains that might be wrapt in mist and
cloud, but God was most gracious to us, and we
have seen scenery we can never forget."
The entire description, which is too long to
give, closes thus
" On Friday morning I was out by 6. The
moon was up and not a single cloud between
us and the whole range of mountains. We
can never forget the sight, it was a pearl-like
transparency, something so ethereal and tender ; it
did not seem of the world, but it might have been
the steps of heaven let down to earth."
On his return to Calcutta, he heard the address
from Keshub Chunder Sen, when about 3000 men
were present. " A torrent of eloquence ; he has
reached Deism," was the comment.
" This morning I preached to an excellent
congregation in the Old Church ; they had the
Benedicite, which after Darjeeling was the utter
ance of my heart." The next letter was from
Bombay, January 28, 1881, whither they had
travelled from Calcutta, having parted from
Edward Bickersteth at Allahabad, with overflow
ing thankfulness for the great mercies of ten weeks
150 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
together. The party sailed from Bombay in the
Speke Hall, on Saturday, January 29, and reached
Suez on February 10, having had a smooth voyage.
After a short trip to Cairo and the Pyramids, they
sailed from Alexandria to Jaffa, where, on February
19, they visited the schools for girls and boys
carried on by Miss Arnott and Miss Davison.
The former was a great admirer of " Yesterday,
To-day and For Ever," and a clergyman who had
sailed with them from Alexandria told the author
that he owed to it his first deep religious im
They met Canon Tristram (of Durham) in
Jerusalem, and joined his party for a trip to the
East of Jordan. Mr. Bickersteth writes
" Tristram is the life of the party, plucking every
rare flower and shooting rare birds. He thinks it
well the Arabs should know that we are armed. Our
Bedouin Chief, whom he upbraided with pillaging
travellers while professing to be a pious man, replied,
It is indeed true ; I am a pious man. But if God
spreads a plentiful breakfast before me, should I
not be very ungrateful not to partake of it ? And
if I see a party of unarmed travellers, God has
given them to me ; why should I refuse His gift ?
If, however, they are armed, it is different. I
might happen to get an ugly wound. I will let
Accounts of visits to Elealeh, Nebo, Mediba
and Rabbath Ammon, which were delightful, must
be passed over. They arrived at Es Salt, or
Ramoth Gilead, on March 5, after a very rough
journey. He says
"All the Christians of the place turned
out to welcome us. Mahaba (or Welcome)
was heard on every side, and Mr. Jamal,
David s brother, the C.M.S. Native Missionary,
received us more hospitably than I can say. Having
four rooms in his house, he turned all his family
into one, giving us three, and providing another in
a Christian s house for three of our gentlemen.
" Yesterday, Sunday, was a most delightful day.
There are about 350 Protestant Christians here,
full of love and zeal. Service was at 9 o clock.
The church, which is in Mr. Jamal s court, was
quite filled. There were fine, intelligent faces.
The service was in Arabic, a most melodious
language. I preached a short sermon, which Mr.
Jamal interpreted. There would have been more
people, but several of the Christians are away with
their flocks on the lower grounds. After dinner
they came flocking into the house to salute us, and
said that the memory of the day would live in their
hearts for years. In the afternoon there was the
litany, and the children and adults were catechized.
Tristram addressed them on The little Israelitish
maid, and I spoke to them on the Irish prayer,
and gave them copies.
Five of us walked to the double summit of
Mount Gilead, one of which commands the upper
valley of the Jordan, with the river Jabbok running
through it (its jagged channel was clearly marked
in the plain below us), and the other command
ing the plain of Jericho and the Dead Sea and
Nebo. It is wonderful to see what fresh life has
been poured into the country since Tristram was
here last. Five hundred new vineyards have
been planted during the last five or six years.
The mountain is now planted to its very summit.
The inhabitants of Salt are increasing every month,
and it now numbers eleven thousand. It is
152 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
delightful to see the Missionary love and zeal here.
We examined the schools this morning, such quick
witted handsome boys and girls, so many Moslems
under instruction, and such love pervading the
whole work. To-night we have had a long con
sultation with Mr. Jamal, as to the best means for
gathering in the harvest of souls. The church and
schools are too small, and they sorely want
a separate school for girls, a Zenana or Harem
Missionary woman, and a Medical Missionary.
I trust our report may persuade the C.M.S. to do
The Governor, whom I went to see, told
me that he was so convinced of the goodness of
the Mission School, that he was going to take his
son, a boy of nine years, from the Moslem School
where he had been for a year and a half, and now
could not read a verse in the Koran, and send him
to our school. This was good news, as it will have
great effect upon the other Mahommedans here.
All the Christians had gathered to bid us farewell,
kissing our hands and pressing them to their fore
heads. Then we filed out of the narrow gate,
through the steep, rugged streets, and climbing the
precipitous cliff on one side of the valley, we
came suddenly upon seventy-five of the school
children, whom the master had brought out to
stand on a knoll over which we rode, to bid us
farewell. They sang the most beautiful Arabic
hymn, which Mr. Jamal translated, committing us
to the care of God, and then the dear children
clustered round us and kissed our hands. We
could hardly get away from them. Again and
again they bade us farewell, and as we rode down
the rocks into the steep defile, they ranged them
selves on the edge of the hill and shouted their
hurrahs till we were out of sight. Mr. Jamal
accompanied us on horseback some way further.
Again there was hearty kissing between David and
his relations, and we felt indeed what true primitive
Christian love pervaded that rising Church."
His letters written during the Palestine tour
contain vivid descriptions of travel, and have the
charm of his poetic fancy and scriptural knowledge,
but their Missionary character is not so pronounced
as that of the Indian series. He visited the
Stations wherever he went, cheering and being
cheered by those who, to use his own words, " were
in the high places of the field." At Damascus he
visited the cemetery where Jane Frances, Countess
Teleki, the only daughter of his uncle, Henry
Bickersteth, Lord Langdale, was laid to rest in
1870. He writes : " How little I thought when I
saw her such a thing of beauty the year my father
died, that I should stand beside her grave in a far-
off land." At Beyrout, April 10, he adds
" I addressed the children of the British Syrian
Schools, which; are foil, brimful of life and
interest, and preached this morning on, Let not
your heart be troubled, to a large congregation
in the American Presbyterian Church, which they
allowed us to use for an Episcopal Service. We
are to have the Holy Communion this afternoon
and an evening Conference.
" The work of Christ going on here is most en
couraging, and every mission field seems to tell its
own tale of the joy of unselfish labour for the
Master. His labourers are so happy and can sing
over their work. What a mercy to have the
humblest share in it ! We had an interesting in
sight into the British Syrian Schools yesterday.
154 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
I took a Bible-class with all the children, which
seemed wonderfully to interest them, on Heaven."
" Smyrna, Good Friday.
"To-day has been the strangest Good Friday
1 ever spent. We were wakened at 2 a.m. by our
steamer running against an ironclad vessel in the
harbour of Scio. Thank God, not much mischief
was done, though the collision partially stove in
one of our boats, and snapped and twisted great
bars of iron. We soon found ourselves, a motley
group, on deck, half dressed, some awakened by
the shock, and some longing to see Scio, which has
been so seriously injured with earthquakes. There
had been one twenty minutes before we landed,
and only one house in the vast town is left
The travellers reached Hampstead on the after
noon of April 28, 1881, after a short stay in
Italy, having carried out almost to the letter the
programme which they had marked out for
If this tour could not be said to have increased
a Missionary enthusiasm which had long been at
white heat, Mr. Bickersteth turned to admirable
account the enriched experience, and the personal
contact with the great problems of the Mission
Field which it gave him.
The second of the Bishop s Missionary journeys
was undertaken under different auspices ten years
later. Edward Bickersteth had been working as
Bishop at Tokyo since 1887, and it was natural
that the English Bishop should visit his son in
his own field of service. It was with the warm
approval of Archbishop Benson that arrangements
^vvere made for an absence of nearly five months
from August, 1891. Bishop Barry, late of Sydney,
undertook episcopal duty in the diocese, and
Bishop Bickersteth, accompanied by his wife
and his daughter May, sailed from Liverpool
for Montreal on the ss. Parisian. The letters
and diaries of those months are replete with
graphic detail and picturesque description, which
are very tempting, but a rigid economy of space
is imperative. The beautiful scenery of the St.
Lawrence, the majesty of Niagara, the impressive-
ness of the huge stretches of prairie, the rugged
grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, were all duly
recorded. One extract may be allowed in which
he gave his impressions of Archbishop Tait, whose
life he was reading
"What a grand life of godly sincerity it is,
and Davidson 1 has done his work, to my thinking,
with a master s hand to perfection. I have now
read three-fourths of the two volumes, and feel it
quite a solemn responsibility to have had such a
noble example sketched before one s mind s-eye
so vividly. It is very humbling, for there was
nothing little about the man, just because his eye
was single and his whole body full of light. What
adds to the interest to me, is that the memoir
revives the events, quorum pars exiguafui"
The acme of joy and thankfulness was reached,
in the meeting with Bishop Edward Bickersteth
at Banff. He had been greatly prostrated by
illness, and it was thought that the best thing
for him would be a voyage to Vancouver and
1 Archbishop of Canterbury.
156 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
back with his father, who thus describes their
" There, at Banff, on the station, was our
beloved Edward, waiting to greet us. He looks
well but worn, and has been very ill a month
in bed, but just recovered in time to come the
The Bishop s party embarked at Vancouver
by the ss. Empress of Japan, on September 9, 1891,
and after a somewhat rough voyage, especially
towards the close, they landed in Yokohama on
the 23rd. The charm of his personality had drawn
not a few amongst the passengers into close inter
change of thought with him. He writes
" Several Americans have come and thanked
me for my poem which they had read years ago,
and one told me yesterday how it had been engraven
on his soul, when tempted to make the accumu
lation of property his object in life, and especially
the words I put in the mouth of Mammon, Book VI.
AU thanks to God."
From Tokyo he wrote, on September 26
" Such a hearty welcome by the brotherhood
at St. Andrew s. At the 5 p.m. service in the
lovely little church, the St. Hilda s and the St.
Andrew s party joined us in offering praise for
our safe voyage. It was a great mercy escaping
the typhoon they have had. We went all over
St. Hilda s on Thursday ; it is a most thoughtfully
and efficiently planned home, though just now the
flowing tide of pupils has ebbed to thirty-four The
wave of thought has rather set against foreigners,
but it will probably soon turn again. On Friday we
visited the Ladies Institute, which is under Miss
Macrae, her sister, and their band of teachers, and
supplies the best education in Tokyo. It occupies
a huge building, one wing of the Engineers Insti
tute, placed at the ladies disposal by the Government
for five years. There are some sixty-six huge rooms
in it, most of which were empty, and about sixty
pupils, but of the first families in Tokyo. There
is no direct religious instruction in the morning
school hours, but Miss Macrae has a class which
all who like may attend. Edward said that the
indirect influence for Christ was very good in the
highest ranks. And Miss Macrae s sister told me
that one of the first members of Government, who
had been impressed by Christianity, overheard his
young daughter praying in his home, and said, I
can resist no longer ; if my child prays like that,
I must be a Christian. And he did confess
Christ, and was baptized. There is another pupil
quite ready for baptism, but her father will not
give his consent."
There are frequent accounts of addresses to
Missionary workers, as well as to Japanese
On October 5 a vivid description is given, of
visits to Nikko and Ikao.
" Nikko is about ninety miles North of Tokyo,
on the hills. There is an avenue of splendid pines
twenty miles long leading from the plain to the
tomb of leyasu, the greatest general and ruler Japan
ever produced (born 1542, died 1616, at Nikko).
The railway runs alongside this avenue and un
ceremoniously cuts across it. The great Shinto
Temple, or Mausoleum, is in front of the tomb
and hides it, but passing through the temple, up
some two hundred and seventy steps, you find the
158 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
plain, and comparatively unadorned tomb under
the open heaven, as if they felt * man at his best is
altogether vanity. The Mausoleum was certainly
superb with its carvings and colouring. The rich
red pagoda among the pines was most striking,
and the pines are marvellous. Edward, N., M.,
and I, with our arms stretched out, could nearly
gird one of them. It must have been from twenty-
five to thirty feet round, and this was only one of
The entry in the Bishop s diary on October 6th
records a visit to Bishop Nicolai, of the Greek
Church, who was out, but they saw his Cathedral
and climbed its roof. On the day after he
"We went to Mrs. Kirkes At Home for
Japanese ladies of the highest circles and some
distinguished men, who were wise, social, sym
pathetic, cultivated. I longed for power to plead
for Christ, but see with Mrs. Kirkes, the import
ance of breaking down social prejudices. Her
influence for the Gospel is very real."
" Friday, October 7.
" Last night Edward had a large At Home of
more than a hundred and twenty guests, amongst
whom were some most interesting Japanese ladies.
I was especially attracted to a young man, the son
of the Prime Minister, and also by Mr. Sannomiya,
the Vice Chamberlain of the Empress s Court. He
married an English Churchwoman, and though he
has not yet embraced Christianity, told me he was
sure Japan would become Christian, and that on
the lines of the English Church.
" This afternoon we went to Mr. Moore s house
in the Mita school, one of the most important
educational institutions of Japan, with some two
thousand boys. This was the scene of Mr. Lloyd s
labours. Christianity is not taught during school
hours, but the boys and young men are drawn to
come to the Mission Chapel near by. The Principal
of the school is a man of great mental power, and
though favourably tolerant of Christianity and
most courteous, is still an unbeliever. If he could
be won, and others like him, and by God s grace
become an advocate of the faith, Japan would feel
the influence to its remotest limits."
On October 14, when they left Tokyo, he
"It was really quite touching to find so
many Japanese Christians as well as English
friends on the railway platform to bid us God
speed on our journey to Nagoya. We en
joyed glorious views of Fuji, 12,365 feet high
Memoria Technica 12 months 365 days. Mr.
Robinson and his catechist met us at the station.
Yesterday (Sunday, October 18th), was most in
teresting. I walked down with Edward to their
preaching house, which they use as their church.
There was first the Confirmation (one old man
of sixty and two young women were confirmed).
Edward read the service, and addressed them in
Japanese with the greatest fluency. The singing
of two hymns was good, especially the Japanese
version of Lyte s hymn, * Jesus, I my cross have
taken. We then all received the Holy Com
munion ten Japanese and five of us the three
confirmed communicating. It was to me a most
touching service altogether, and full of prophetic
hope for Japan, since Nagoya is a stronghold of
Buddhism and one of the cities least touched by
Western thought. Here there had been open
160 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
opposition. They had threatened to burn the
preacher s house and stone the Missionaries, who,
however, went very quietly about their work, not
shrinking from any services, though they found
they were sometimes guarded, unknown to them
selves, by fifteen or twenty policemen, to prevent
an assault being made on them. Now the opposi
tion has ceased.
That afternoon the English-speaking of all
denominations of Protestant Christians came to
evensong in Mr. Robinson s house. We were
thirty in number, and I preached to them from
Rom. viii. 32. The message was heartily received.
The old man, who was confirmed in the morning,
when Mr. Robinson asked him what he meant
to do with his idol, and its costly lacquered and
gilded box, had said he thought he would sell it,
as it was worth some thirty dollars. Mr. Robinson
asked Edward and me what we should advise. It
was a difficult question, as thirty dollars was a great
sum to the poor old man. But the question was
delightfully solved in the evening by the old man
coming up to Mr. Robinson, and saying he would
give it to him. Edward owes Mr. Robinson to
Toronto. They sorely want a new church, and
hope to secure a good site."
But the most exciting experience of their whole
tour was the terrible earthquake, which occurred
during their stay at Osaka on Wednesday, October
18th. Mercifully none of themselves or their kind
friends, Archdeacon Warren and his family, whom
they were visiting, were injured. The Bishop
"On Tuesday evening the Archdeacon asked
me to take their family prayers, and I had chosen
Psalm xci., and said a few words on our home
in God, its security and blessedness. It was an
oppressively hot night, but we slept, and the
servant had brought us tea at 6.30 ; not having
been very well, I was drinking it in bed, when we
felt the first sway of the shock. But those we had
experienced in Tokyo so soon ceased, we expected
every oscillation would be the last, but they
became stronger and stronger, till the house,
though substantially built, shuddered and trembled
and swerved to and fro, and one of the windows
was burst open. I called to N. to come under
the door frame, which, narrow as it was, would
afford some shelter if the building fell. We were
both in our night-dresses, and she was coming,
when another shock dashed the door against my
foot and hand, bruising them. However, I got
the door open again, and I was thankful indeed
to get N. under it. Here we stayed till the house
righted itself and was still. Edward ran to the
front door, unlocked it, and got into the garden,
when he found the earth distinctly reeling under
him. It was delightful to see the Archdeacon s
beautiful spirit of childlike trustfulness and thank
fulness. It seems almost selfish to write so much
about ourselves, when thousands and tens of
thousands have suffered so terribly."
The visits to Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Naga
saki, where the travellers embarked for Hong
Kong, were of exceeding interest. The parting
between father and son took place on Sunday,
"At 9 o clock, Japanese morning prayer and
a Confirmation of three young men (two of them
medical students) and four young women, with an
earnest address from Edward. Then English
164 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
our Society has been led by God to send many
labourers into that missionary field. I believe it
will prove wise strategy in the great and good
warfare we are waging.
" I was very thankful to learn lately from a
missionary on furlough that during the last seven
years there has been a marked change among the
Japanese students at Tokyo : it was formerly their
fashion during their college course to study Herbert
Spencer and adopt agnosticism. Now they have
grown tired of Spencer and devote themselves to
books on political economy, their main object being
to get their country on. But modern books under
mine their old beliefs, they are wavering and
dissatisfied, and come to the Missionaries with their
questions. It is a great opportunity. Forgive my
special interest in India (of which he had spoken)
and Japan, where my eldest son, whom God has
called to his rest, laboured for twenty years, first at
Delhi as one of the Cambridge University Mission,
and then in Tokio, for Jesus sake and the Gospel s."
The Bishop s ardent love for the Church Mis
sionary Society, and his life-long advocacy of its
work, brought him into close and constant touch
with its committee. Mr. Eugene Stock, for many
years one of the lay secretaries, writes as follows
respecting his connection with the Society, and his
general interest in the cause of missions
" No Bishop of our time has been so devoted to
the foreign missionary enterprise, and so identified
with its interests, as Bishop Bickersteth. In the
following brief account of this phase of his life, we
may glance at his connection with the Church
Missionary Society, and his utterances on the
subject of missions
" His connection with the Church Missionary
Society dates, of course, from his earliest years,
concerning which this is not the place to speak. In
the Society s own records the first notable service
of his to the cause is writing a Missionary hymn for
the Society s Jubilee, 1848-9. That hymn, *O,
brothers, lift your voices, is popular to this day
in Church Missionary Society circles, and indeed
wherever the Hymnal Companion is in use. It
was a unique privilege, which he highly valued,
when it fell to him, at the close of another fifty
years, to write the principal hymn for the Society s
Centenary ; and he produced the now well-known
For My sake and the Gospel s, go, the popularity
of which, well deserved for its own merits, has been
helped, by Sir A. Sullivan s permission, to link with
it his famous tune composed for Queen Victoria s
" During the whole period of Mr. Bickersteth s
incumbency of Christ Church, Hampstead, he was
a valued member of the Church Missionary Society
Committee. Although not one of the most pro
minent in its discussions, and unable to give time
to attend its numerous subsidiary committees, he
could always be depended upon for counsel on
important occasions, especially when private matters
arising out of the relations of individual missionaries
to the committee, or to each other had to be dealt
with. At such times his loving and generous
nature made his influence specially important. On
controversial questions he was always on the mode
rate side, and in his later years he was a real help
in this respect to Mr. Wigram.
"Mr. Bickersteth s services to the Society in
regard to its funds were of unique value. Again
and again, when deficits were reported, owing to
166 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
the expansion of the work growing faster than the
income, he started additional funds to meet the
difficulty. In 1880, for instance, he wrote a power
ful letter, headed by the words with which his
Centenary hymn opened eighteen years later, For
My sake and the Gospel s, and urging a higher
scale of subscription, to exemplify which he and
three other friends promised to give thenceforth
100 a year each. At the same time he handed the
Society 1000 to start a new mission to the Bhil
tribes in Rajpatana (and a second 1000 a few years
later), his interest in them having been awakened
by the residence in their neighbourhood of one of
his daughters, who was married to an Anglo-Indian
officer. Then in 1882 he wrote proposing to in
crease the income by * half as much again, and by
way of illustration advanced his own subscription
from 100 to 150. Many contributors followed
his example ; but subscriptions are only a part of
a Society s resources, and church collections gener
ally were unaffected by the appeal, while a legacy
of 1000 did not become 1500 because Mr. Bicker-
steth had written his letter. So the result he aimed
at was not achieved then, nor for several years
after ; but his own generosity was none the less on
that account. Meanwhile his own congregation at
Christ Church responded well to his frequent
appeals, and he was not content until their annual
contribution had reached 1000.
" But the most remarkable of his efforts of the
kind was in 1884-5. The Society was sorely pressed
for office room, the work having so greatly increased
since its house was built in 1862 ; but the committee
were not willing to apply missionary contributions
to its enlargement. Then Mr. Bickersteth, inde
pendently of them, published a proposal that
substantial sums (say 250, but not less than 100)
should be given by friends * in memory of departed
brothers and sisters in Christ, whose names, thus
commemorated, should be inscribed on a tablet in
the house. The response exceeded his anticipations.
In less than twelve months 18,000 was thus con
tributed, which not only paid the whole cost of
enlargement, but substantially reduced an old
mortgage also. The new whig, so provided, had
a personal interest for him ; for it stood on the site
of the old hired house occupied from 1813 to 1862,
the house in which his father, Edward Bickersteth,
the secretary, had lived for some years.
"Although we take the Bishop s utterances
regarding Missions under a separate head, very
many of them might well be reckoned among his
services to the C.M.S. He was three times a
speaker at the Annual Meeting; and the other
contemporaries of his who spoke as often were
J. C. Miller, J. C. Ryle, E. Hoare, and Archbishop
Temple. (In earlier days, when there were fewer
men to be asked, there were some who spoke
" He presided at the Evening Meeting of 1885,
just after his consecration, and only the day before
he left London for Exeter. The Annual Sermon
at St. Bride s, which only one man in the whole
century has preached twice (Bishop Wilson, of
Calcutta), was delivered by Bishop Bickersteth
in 1888. His subject was The Gospel of the
glory of the Blessed God, which was committed to
my trust (1 Tim. i. 14, R.V.) ; and from the
words committed to my trust he drew an
appeal for personal service in the mission field
which has never been surpassed, if ever equalled,
for tender yet forceful earnestness. He did not even
shrink from facing the possible question, Why
168 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
don t you go yourself? affirming his readiness
to go if plainly called by his Divine Master even
then, when he had attained the age at which his
father had died. Other sermons of his on special
occasions are still remembered: at St. James s,
Paddington, for instance, in 1881, at the ordination
of four missionaries, when he rendered St. Peter s
word for love, in St. John xxi. (^tXw), cleave
unto, after the usage of the Septuagint, and again
at Lambeth Palace Chapel in 1883, at the consecra
tion of A. W. Poole as first English Bishop for
Japan, when from St. Mark iii. 14, 15 the
account of the first ordination he drew the
threefold duty of the Christian ministry, viz.
to be with Jesus, to preach His word, and to do
"But perhaps the occasion of speaking at a
C.M.S. function which gave him deepest satisfaction
was the Second Jubilee Meeting, on November 1,
1898. 1 He had been present as a young clergyman
at the First Jubilee Meeting in 1848, and now he
was privileged to occupy the chair at the Second
Jubilee. As far as was known, only two other
persons were present who had also been present
in 1848, and both of them spoke, viz. the Rev.
W. Salter Price (the East African missionary)
and Mr. Eugene Stock. It was an occasion
which drew forth all the tender thankfulness
and sympathetic joy which always characterized
Bishop Bickersteth took no narrow view of
the Church s missionary agencies. Although his
hereditary connexion was with the C.M.S., and
1 The first Jubilee was celebrated in the middle of the fiftieth year,
not at its close. It was therefore arranged to hold a second Jubilee
meeting on the corresponding day in the hundredth year (November 1),
in anticipation of the centenary celebration in the following April,
when the century was complete.
his sympathies were with its work first of all, he
was no half-hearted or hesitating friend of the
S.P.G., and in the Exeter diocese he promoted its
interests with equal fervour. Even if he had not
valued, as he truly did, its great work both in the
Colonies and in non-Christian lands, the fact of
the Cambridge Delhi Mission, founded by his
eldest son, being affiliated to the S.P.G., would
of itself have secured his co-operation for the
Society. His hearty wish was to see all the
Church Societies drawn more together, not by
Utopian schemes of amalgamation, but by ever-
increasing mutual appreciation and respect.
"So devoted was the Bishop to the cause of
Evangelization, that he could not refuse sympathy
to any sincere effort to preach Christ to the
heathen. He could not confine that sympathy
within the bounds of the Church of England, dearly
as he loved it ; and when the last great General
Conference on Missions was held in 1888 almost
all Protestant Societies being represented Dr.
Bickersteth was the one English Bishop who saw
his way to take part, coming up from Exeter
expressly for the purpose.
Bishop Bickersteth was frequently invited to
take part in the Church Congress. Generally,
and naturally, the place allotted to him was in the
session devoted to the consideration of the spiritual
life, or the Ministry; but at Wakefield, in 1896,
he contributed a remarkable paper on a burning
missionary question, the Baptism of Polygamists.
On this subject the Bishop held a view different
from that most common among missionaries, and
indeed among Churchmen generally. The problem
is not so easy as might be imagined. Of course,
any baptized Christian taking more than one wife
would be excommunicated, upon that all are
agreed. But suppose a heathen chief were
170 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
converted who has three wives already, all lawful
wives according to the custom of the country ;
and suppose, as Bishop Bickersteth put it, the
first in order of time is old and childless, the
second the mother of all his children, the third,
the last married and best beloved." If he is to
put away two of the three before baptism, which
is he to keep ? And what is the condition of the
two put away ? Are they to be counted as married
or single? Can they marry other men? And
what of the children (if any) of those put away ?
The Bishop advocated a certain liberty in such
circumstances. He took the same line at the
Lambeth Conference of 1888, and was supported
by several other Bishops. But the majority was
against him. By 83 votes to 21, the Conference
decided that a converted polygamist should not
be baptized, but should continue a catechumen
until he should be in a position to accept the law
of Christ, but on the other hand, by 54 to 34,
that the wives of polygamists might be baptized in
certain circumstances to be decided on locally.
"At the Folkestone Congress, in 1892, the
Bishop was again invited to read a paper on a
Missionary subject, * Variety of Methods, in
which he showed his intimate knowledge of the
actual circumstances and problems of the Mission
Resignation Diocesan Conference Resolutions Freedom of the City
of Exeter Removal to London Illness Death Tributes
" Be the day short or never so long,
At length it ringeth to evensong."
From JOHN HBYWOOD S
" Collection of English Proverbs/ 1546. J
THE Bishop had a sharp attack of influenza in
the early spring of 1900, which greatly weakened
him. And although he resumed work with his
usual ardour, the severity of the strain upon his
powers soon became evident. The summer holiday
of this year did not bring him its wonted renewal
of vigour, and he felt that he must face the
question of retirement. In September he sent in
his resignation to the Archbishop of Canterbury,
who forwarded it to Lord Salisbury. He received
a very kind letter from the Prime Minister signi
fying his regret for the cause which led the Bishop
to relinquish his office, together with warm ex
pressions of personal regard. He retired on a
1 In Heywood s book the couplet is given thus :
" Be the day never so long
Evermore they ring to Evensong."
As given in the text the words were used at the moment of his death by
George Tankerville, who was burnt at the stake in 1555.
172 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
proportion of the income of the see, which was
considerably less than the amount allowed by
statute under the Bishops Resignation Act.
The pain of parting from many whom he loved
weighed heavily upon his spirit ; but the strong
hold to which he had resorted for more than three
score years was his place of refuge, and he took
shelter there as the shadows of life s evening and
the sorrows of superannuation gathered about him.
The tidings that the Bishop had resigned
occasioned universal regret, and the diocese rose
up and called him blessed. The most affecting
expressions of sorrow came from persons of all
classes and creeds. There was not a parish in
which there did not exist some link with its chief
pastor not alone from persons who had been
confirmed by him or had listened to his plead
ings in sermons and addresses, for almost all the
religiously minded knew the hymn, "Peace, per
fect Peace," and many also his "Pray, always
Pray." Letters came by the score testifying
the depth and extent of the affection borne by
the people of the Diocese towards their Father
The Bishop took a final farewell of his clergy
and laity at the Diocesan Conference which met
on October 16th. In his parting address he dwelt
upon the years spent by him in their midst,
mentioning by name a large number of those who
had rendered signal help in the manifold depart
ments of his work, and thanking them in words
both graceful and discriminating, for all the kind
ness he had received at their hands.
CLOSING YEARS 173
The Lord-lieutenant of the County, Lord
Clinton, moved the following resolutions :
" That the members of this Conference recog
nize in the determination of the Lord Bishop to
resign the charge of the diocese, evidence of the
high sense of his obligation to his great office, and
the maintenance of the high standard of public
duty which he advocated in the days of his
strength, and now vindicates in his advancing years.
" They hear also with great regret of the failure
of his health, and his increasing weakness.
" They receive his decision with grateful recol
lections of the courtesy, the devotion, the fairness
of all his relations not only with the Diocesan
Conference, but with the diocese at large.
" They rejoice to think that in the fifteen years
of his episcopate he has made himself acquainted
with all classes of the community, and approved
himself to all as a true father in God.
" They respectfully offer the assurance of their
enduring regard for all the members of his family,
who have united with him in making the Palace
a scene of diocesan hospitality and a centre of
" They earnestly pray that the relief which the
Bishop is seeking from the increasing burden of
a diocesan episcopate may, by the will of Almighty
God, issue in a prolonging of his days, and enable
him to add to his services to the Church at large,
in those fields of literature in which he has made
for himself an enduring name."
In supporting the resolution, the Archdeacon
of Exeter said
" The Lord-lieutenant has spoken with feeling,
with dignity, and with eloquence to this motion,
174- EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
and he has spoken, no one can doubt, as a religious
man who is interested in the subject on which he
has spoken. But he has of necessity spoken as
a layman, and it is my duty and privilege in some
way to represent the priests and the deacons. I
am glad to do so, because I feel that the Bishop
whom we honour, respect, and love, is a man who
has done much to teach us clergy how we ought
to obey the deepest duty which we owe to the
laity, and to the people of this country and this
nation. I say that advisedly, because what the
people of this country consciously or unconsciously
most desire at the hands of the clergy is something
more than activity. They desire activity, no doubt,
and they have had a very considerable amount of
it during your lordship s episcopate. They desire
also intellectual force, and they must have it ; but
the thing which they most desire, whether they
know it or do not, is neither the expression of
energy or force, but manifestation on the part
of the clergy of the life that is hid with Christ
in God. What they most need is this mani
festation of something which in this active, busy,
material age speaks of the Heavens above, and
leads men to lift up their hearts. And while your
lordship has done a great deal more of active work
than any one of us quite realizes, your words just
spoken have brought out this higher service in a
simple but in a very remarkable manner. The
thing that you have taught the clergy is just this,
that their chief aim must be to make the people
feel that the clergy are men of God, and have
spirituality of soul within them.
"My lord, I say it in your presence all that
you do is so simple and natural that I don t think
we need be very particular about whether our
words are spoken in your presence or not that
you have been to many the best example of the
CLOSING YEARS 175
best kind of piety which we used to see among
the best clergy in the days when we were young.
It belongs to no party, it belongs to all parties.
But I fear it is rarer now than it was in days
gone by. This is activity. Thank God for it.
But we want behind activity the piety which
makes the activity tell. It has been my privilege
to know a few of the leaders of the English
Church. And there stand out two who are con
spicuous for this very thing of which I am
speaking. And it came to pass that these two
men were on the selfsame day consecrated to the
episcopate of the English Church. One was the
saintly Bishop of Lincoln, and I am not afraid
to canonize our own Bishop during his lifetime
the other, was the saintly Bishop of Exeter. Men
of different schools and different opinions in some
respects (though I do not believe in very many),
both showed what will be the greatest power in
holding the English Church together in the days
to come. It has been good for us, both clergy
and laity, to have been here in this diocese during
your episcopate. The diocese has been over
shadowed by a courteous, gentle, heavenly influ
ence, which has reached far and wide, and has
penetrated to all sorts and conditions of men.
" For there was in your words just spoken
that which showed care not only for the great,
but for the small, for the young as well as for
the old ; and I am quite certain that in the days to
come there will be many among the poorest of this
county, and among the simple and least educated,
who will cherish in their memories a sight which
they once had of a Bishop, who was a true man
of God, and the memory of words that have been
a blessing to them ever since they first heard them
uttered. I pray that this influence will long live
the influence of that heavenly spirit and the
176 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
influence of that loving heart. I pray that in the
days to come, to which you have alluded the days
of increasing activity that if in the midst of this
activity we are tempted to lose something of the
spirit of true Church fellowship, we may remember
what we once saw of that spirit of love which
held us all together. I believe, my lord, the legacy
will still remain. I trust it may, and I hope and
believe it will. I am quite certain you will not
be forgotten, because it will be impossible to forget
you and after you yourself have gone, the influ
ence of your loving presence will still abide.
A few weeks later, the Mayor and Corporation
of Exeter conferred upon him the freedom of the
City, the highest mark of distinction and appreciation
which they could bestow upon any individual.
It was said of him
" His fatherliness and loving sympathy are in
all our hearts and he is sorely missed. Few Bishops
in a roll containing many great names have left so
deep and abiding a mark for good, the impression
of the mighty power of love and holiness."
Another writes " I feel sure that no Bishop
ever parted from his diocese more universally
venerated and beloved than the Bishop of Exeter."
The late Prebendary Bramley, Rector of
UfFculme, and afterwards Sub-Dean of the
Cathedral, wrote to him, " I have never forgotten
the two days you spent with us at UfFculme, and
the amount of good that you succeeded in doing
during that time. It made a deep impression on
me and on my people." Prebendary Bramley also
wrote of him, " I hope we may get a good man to
CLOSING YEARS 177
succeed him. We shall not get one kinder, fairer,
more earnest to help all that can promote our good."
Another, a well-known layman, wrote, "The
nearer the time comes for your leaving, the less I
like to think of it. It will be the hardest wrench
Exeter has received during many years. I am
very, very sorry."
There were also many most touching letters
from his brother Bishops on his resignation. The
Bishop of Southwark, Dr. E. S. Talbot, then Bishop
of Rochester, wrote
" You will have many letters just now, and per
haps they will only add to sadness and weariness.
But yet may 1 add one little one which will be
answered only by a handshake when we meet (as I
trust) at Lambeth in November.
"For you have been too kind to me for the
ending of your time amongst our brotherhood of
active service to pass, without a word of affection
and respect and gratitude from me. It was you
who told me that I should find a real brotherliness
in the Episcopal body, and you have always done
your part to help me feel the truth of this.
" We shall miss a presence not only ever kindly
and gentle, but always a reminder of the spirit
which should go through all our business and work.
I do trust that the comfort of the Holy Spirit will
make the sadness of ending and leaving to be
conquered by thankfulness and hope.
" Pray give those whom you leave the full help
of the reservists service of prayer, and not least
one who so greatly needs it as myself."
The Bishop removed to London in December,
1900, and took a house in Westbourne Terrace
178 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
(No. 95), when it was hoped that a period of entire
repose might restore him to a greater measure of
strength. For a time it seemed as if this expecta
tion would be realized. He could enjoy the society
of his friends, go out to meetings, and was able to
begin some literary work in the way of preparing
his " Thoughts in Past Years," a book of occasional
sermons for publication.
He was able also to take part in the consecra
tion of his successor, Dr. H. E. Ryle, on his own
birthday, January 25, 1901. But the improve
ment was not sustained, and the illness which was
to last for more than five years gradually became
worse. But he accepted the will of God concern
ing him with perfect submission and with childlike
" Still loving man, still thanking God."
He was fond of repeating some lines from a
hymn of John Newton s, which he had known from
his early days
" He that hath led me hitherto
Will lead me all my journey through,
And give me daily cause to raise
New Ebenezers to His "praise."
The warning that the end was approaching
came a week beforehand, like the Seer s in " Yester
day, To-day and For Ever," and at 6.30 on the
morning of May 16, 1906, in the presence of
those dearest to him, the gentle loving spirit of
Edward Henry Bickersteth took its flight and
went home to God.
A simple but beautiful service was held at
Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, and attended by
CLOSING YEARS 179
a large and representative congregation of those
who had worked with him at different times of his
life. His hymn, "Peace, Perfect Peace," was
sung, and the pall borne by eight of his grandsons.
He was laid to rest amongst his kindred at
Watton, where the Bishop of Crediton read the
concluding prayers and pronounced the benedic
tion. Amongst those gathered round the grave,
were some aged people from the village who
remembered him when he lived there as a boy.
Of the many tributes paid to the Bishop s
memory in his old Diocese, two may be selected
as expressing the sentiment which the tidings of
his death evoked in many places. The first is by
Chancellor Edmonds, preaching in the Cathedral
at Exeter on the Sunday after his death, and the
other from a sermon by the Rev. W. H. Coates,
Vicar of Christ Church, Plymouth, a former Curate
of the Bishop s at Christ Church, Hampstead.
At the conclusion of his sermon Canon
"As we think here to-day of him who was
gathered to his fathers yesterday, it is easy, it
is pleasant to recall him. His gracious gentle
ness, his saintly ways were not passive things ;
they were the veil behind which there lay quietly
active, high qualities of judgment and discern
ment, practised in other spheres among many
types of men. We are accustomed to think of
ours as an age of transition. So, also, was his.
One of the world s own prophets speaks of himself
and his contemporaries as brought up and nursed
in hours of change, alarm, surprise.
" His years of middle and later life were such
180 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
a time. But he had found shelter in a congenial
ministerial sphere to grow ripe, and by early rising
he made leisure to grow wise. His father and he
touched each other to the finer issues of life, yet
not at all points. He and his Bishop-son, into
whom he once said, in my hearing, that * he had
poured his soul, touched each other as closely.
Yet not at all points. What was common to the
three was common to us all. Theirs, indeed, it
was, measured by whatever standard we please to
apply to them, to live among men as men of God.
That is the life that tells ; those are the labours
that are not in vain.
" There is extant a fragment of biography, current
ninety years ago, in which, at the western extremity
of Cornwall, a well-known lady writes in her journal
of the Bishop s father, that she had gone into Pen-
zance to a missionary meeting with Mr. Bickersteth, 1
The glory of God, she said, and the good of souls,
everything that was holy, heavenly, and delightful,
I felt in his conversation. Oh, it makes me long
after holiness and heaven to meet with such, and
I seem raised from the earth I dwell on.* Well,
brethren, during the fifteen years of Bishop Bicker-
steth s episcopate he visited all but every parish
in the diocese. In large numbers of them he
stayed a night, and where he stayed, he left, when
he went away, a blessing behind him. His visits,
half fatherly, half brotherly, were the visits of a
shepherd of souls : he gained entrance, as St.
Paul calls it, for himself. He valued that, but
he valued it all the more because it gave him the
opportunity of gaining an entrance for his Lord.
" He will live in the hearts of all who knew
him. He will live in them for the best reasons.
We love men for many reasons, we love men in
various degrees, but we love those most who give
1 Diary of Mrs. Lydia Grenfell.
CLOSING YEARS 181
our lives a lift heavenward, and this Bishop Bicker-
steth did, and was always doing. His place is in
men s hearts, and he will keep his place. To him
it has been given to write some hymns that the
world will not willingly let die. His place in
devotional poetry is with the immortals. As long
as human life has sorrows or human hearts have
grief, so long will hymns of his be part of the
medicine of the Comforter, so long will Peace,
Perfect Peace, be found on the lips of those who
are called to bear the inevitable discipline, of
affliction and separation, of sorrow and of death.
" Brethren, will the coming days produce in the
various ranks of men teachers and scholars like
these? Shall we produce young apostles ready
to fill the world with the cry of * Obedience,
obedience ? " Shall the fathers to the children
continue to proclaim the truth ? Shall men come
before God, with their sons and daughters at their
feet, and say, Behold me and the children whom
Thou hast given me? At this moment of em
bittered controversy we may well ask the question,
as we turn away from the little country church
yard where loving hands and loving hearts have
paid their last public homage to Edward Henry,
Bishop once of Exeter, husband, father, priest,
Bishop, and in all relationships a man of God, a
child of the most gracious influences of the past,
a herald in prose and in verse of better things to
In the course of his sermon at Christ Church,
Plymouth, Mr. Coates said
" In the days when I was his senior curate,
from 1878 to 1885, Hampstead was one of the
most important suburbs of the great City of
London. It was not only celebrated for its beauty,
182 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
but was above all things noted for the number
of celebrated men and women, who made it their
home. Art, literature, drama, Parliament, science,
and law had many of their leading representatives
dwelling there. Hence it came to pass that Christ
Church, Hampstead, then held an almost unique
position amid the Churches in the north-western
part of the metropolis. It was in such a place,
and to such a people, that Edward Henry Bicker-
steth ministered for thirty years ; and there can
be no greater tribute to the extraordinary power
of his wonderful life than that he should have held
together so large and intellectual a congregation,
not by his learning, although he was undoubtedly
a scholar, or even by his eloquence, but rather
because of his transparent sincerity of purpose and
his masterly grasp of those Holy Scriptures which
he lived as well as preached.
"Just below his pulpit was a pew which was
generally occupied by those who had either come
from, or were going out to, missionary work in
foreign lands ; and it was a strange thing to watch
those of different nationalities, black as well as the
white, gazing up into that dreamy, heaven-lit face
and being raised by his words and looks to a higher
plane of spiritual conceptions, which should inspire
them to purer lives and grander purposes. From
that same pulpit I have heard the first public
recitations of some of his most beautiful hymns ;
and to hear those hymns read by the poet who
knew so well the leading thought which he desired
most to accentuate, was not easily to be forgotten.
" But if as a preacher he was unique, as a
pastor he was absolutely perfect in his consistency
of conduct, his sympathy, and the almost child-
likeness of his innocence. He was no recluse,
and one of my most vivid and pleasant recollec
tions of Hampstead is the remembrance of social
CLOSING YEARS 183
evenings in his hospitable house, where as a true
gentleman he was seen at his best, talking and
chatting with every one, and making everybody feel
at home. Yet although in the world, he was not
of the world. It was curious to see how, without
the least affectation or cant, he was able to make
his guests feel that it was an almost natural thing
not to separate without a hymn and a word of
prayer. * I used often to wonder how he did it,
said a City merchant to me, but he was such a
true saint of God we could not resent it, could we ?
" But perhaps, it was more in the hour of trouble
than at any other time that Bickersteth was so
wonderfully helpful. There was nothing artificial
in his sympathy. To be with him was just to
feel as though he had nobody else s cares to
think about and nobody else s sorrow to soothe.
No one was better able to whisper words of hope
about the great unseen than the author of Yester
day, To-day and For Ever, who simply seemed to
live in it ; and I suppose that no saint has ever
himself departed into the Paradise of God with
keener anticipation than the good Bishop, who now
sees and experiences what he so often pictured and
sang about. As his curate for so many years
always made welcome under his roof, and ever
permitted to enter into some of his most sacred
confidences I can truly say of Bishop Bickersteth
that to know him was to love him."
The Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. Edward King, who
was consecrated with him on April 25, 1885, wrote
on hearing of his death
" Old Palace, Lincoln, July 28, 1906. <
" MY DEAR SIR,
" I am so sorry that I have not thanked
you for your kind note telling me of your dear
184 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
good father s departure. We were consecrated
side by side, and for many years interchanged tele
grams on the 25th of April. I shall always think
of him with sincere gratitude for the consistent
example of his gentle and holy life.
" With sincere sympathy,
" Believe me,
" Your s sincerely,
" E. LINCOLN.
"The Rev. H. V. Bickersteth."
The Bishop of Crediton has kindly contributed
recollections of Bishop Bickersteth in the following
"Exeter, July 4th, 1907.
" DEAR AGLIONBY,
"You ask me to write a short account
of my recollections of our late revered Bishop. It
is with a feeling of intense reverence, and appre
ciation of his wonderful love both for God and
his fellow-men, filling me as I write, as it must fill
all who really knew him, whenever one thinks of
him. His memory is still fresh throughout the
diocese as one greatly beloved for his fatherly,
prayerful, and saintly episcopate.
" My first recollection of him was when he
came for a Confirmation to my old parish. His
simple sympathetic addresses appealed to the minds
and thoughts of both candidates and congregation,
and sent them home impressed with the solemnity
of the service, and the effect it should have on
their lives. On my asking him whether the long
service tired him, he said, I could never go on
with it unless I believed that the Holy Spirit was
in every case given through the laying on of hands.
" In his short stay for the night in our house,
he showed himself indeed as our Father in God,
with his homely family spirit, taking at once the
CLOSING YEARS 185
keenest interest in our own and the children s
welfare, as well as in the work of the parish.
" He also, at once, made all feel that his love
for his fellow-men extended far beyond the limits
of his own diocese, and how deep and wide was
his missionary spirit. In writing to me on the
subject and its connection with Cathedral life, he
said, The third Canon should promote in every
way the Foreign Missionary work of the diocese,
both S.P.G. and C.M.S. For I deeply feel no
diocese can prosper in spiritual life at home
unless the great Evangelistic charge of our Lord
(St. Matt, xxviii. 18-20) is earnestly fulfilled.
For this purpose his candidates for Ordination were
examined in some missionary subject and bio
graphy, with the object of winning their interest,
and supplying them with useful information at the
beginning of their ministerial life. It was his
earnest desire that every parish, and indeed every
parishioner, should be imbued with the missionary
spirit, as a means of promoting general spiritual
" As one who later was closely associated with
him in his work, not only as Canon, but as his
Suffragan, when advancing years made his Episcopal
duties more than he could undertake alone, I am
glad to testify to the kindly courtesy and generous
trustfulness of his dealings with those serving
under him. Realizing fully his entire responsibility
for all that was done in the diocese, he never gave
over any part of his work to another without
committing it and his fellow-worker in earnest
prayer to God for His guidance and blessing on
the undertaking. It was impossible not to feel
the importance of a commission given in so solemn
" Full of absolute sincerity and purity of mind,
he was generous in his judgment of others, giving
186 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
full justice to those who differed from him, making
the most of each point of unity, and winning
obedience to his wishes by the sheer force of his
holy and fatherly personality. Even those in
strong divergence of opinion from him speak with
affectionate thankfulness of his quiet influence
"Yet with all his gentleness he was shrewd
and tactful in dealing with men. He was quick
to distinguish and value sincerity, but quick also
to suppress anything that fell short of it. He
was gifted also with a patient as well as a calm
disposition. On one occasion he showed me a
drawer in his study table full of unanswered
letters. These/ he said, with a merry smile,
* have all been acknowledged, and Time has been
good enough to answer them for me ; they have
the merit of having answered themselves.
" In Exeter we shall never forget the influence
of his home life. It was a palace where love
and hospitality ruled with well-regulated and
unquestioned force. All were welcomed there as
part of the great diocesan family, and little children
were specially invited and made much of. It is
remembered by a lady, who was calling at the
palace some years ago, that the Bishop came into
the drawing-room to see her with my little girl,
his godchild, then only a year old, sitting on his
shoulder, happily drumming on his head with a
teaspoon. No child ever turned from or was
afraid to go to him.
"There are other points which I feel should
be mentioned, but I know they will already have
been enlarged upon by other writers in your
memoir. For instance, his poetic mind, which
brought rhythm and poetry out of every event
in his own and the nation s life, as well as his
depth of thought and reading. I remember, when
CLOSING YEARS 187
in conversation with the late Earl Fortescue, not
long before his death, he said to me, speaking of
the Bishop s poetic mind and holiness of character
and he was no mean scholar either * I think the
charm of his Conference addresses was his pretty
scholarship, and apt quotations from the writings
of scholars. A reference to these addresses would
show this to be the case.
" I wish I could do more justice to the very
real admiration and regard which I ever felt and
ever shall feel for our late beloved Bishop. It
was a real privilege to serve under one whose
whole life was so completely dedicated to the
worship and service of Almighty God, whose cha
racter was so saintly, and whose every wish and
aim was attuned to the mind and will of his
" I am, dear Aglionby,
" Yours sincerely,
"ROBERT E. CREDITON."
The following extract is from an article in the
Record upon Bishop Ryle s translation in April,
"Bishop Ryle s two predecessors were in differing
ways gifted men. One for strength, the other for
tenderness, came soon to be distinguished. Arch
bishop Temple pushed along, carrying work and
workmen with him in an enthusiasm of labour,
Bishop Bickersteth fell upon his people like dew.
He came to the parishes and went his way, and
those whom he visited found themselves refreshed."
Although five years had passed away since the
Bishop s withdrawal from public life, the great
number of notices in the Press, and of allusions
188 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
to him both in Churches and Chapels, especially
in his old Diocese, showed that he was still held
in loving remembrance. It is sometimes said that
good men are very soon forgotten, and that their
memories fade away :
" Fast as the evening sunbeams from the sea."
However much of truth there may be in this
view, the death of Bishop Bickersteth shows us
that men do remember, that they carry deep down
in their hearts the recollection of those who have
given them real spiritual help, who have been the
means of bringing them nearer to God. And to
him it had been granted in very large measure to
do service of this kind.
Any estimate of Edward Henry Bickersteth
must take into account, first of all, the impression
which he left upon the minds of his contemporaries.
The ecclesiastical historian will not, perhaps, reckon
him amongst the great Bishops of the Church ; but
those who shall seek to gauge the deeper religious
influences at work in the Church of England
during the later years of the nineteenth century,
will accord him a real recognition as being amongst
those who wielded them. His gifts belonged to
an order which is higher than that of intellectual
brilliancy or organizing faculty, gifts which make
the greatest display amongst men ; but spiritual
power is, after all, the highest and most potent of
God s gifts to His Church, and men everywhere
were impressed with the Bishop s spirituality of
mind ; they said to themselves concerning him ;
" This is an holy man of God."
CLOSING YEARS 189
His gentleness, that hall-mark of true great
ness, was manifest to all who ever met him : and
linked with it, too, as in St. Paul s enumeration of
the fruits of the Spirit was the sister grace of
goodness, the perpetual disposition to do good
everywhere and to every one.
The Bishop was pre-eminently a man of prayer.
It might be truly said that he would rise " when
it was a great while before day," in order to
redeem time for communion with God. He felt
that " he must look into the face of God before he
looked into the face of man : " and thus he " had
power with God and with men." He would
often quote the words, " The government is upon
His shoulder," as referring to the never-failing
providence of God and His superintendence over
the affairs of His Church and people. It seemed
perfectly natural when he said, as he would very
often say of any matter in which he wanted
guidance, "I will pray about it." And it was
habitual with him to bring everything which he
undertook to the Throne of Grace, every plan,
every purpose, every perplexity. Hence his
serenity, his sunny-heartedness, his cheerfulness,
his courage, his childlike confidence that all things
must work together for good.
And then, there were his largeness of heart in
prayer, his fervent and effectual intercessions, em
bracing as they did, individuals, Churches, Parishes,
enterprises of all kinds at home and abroad, " Church,
King and Country," those who were preaching the
everlasting Gospel to the heathen, watchers, workers,
soldiers, sailors, the afflicted, the bereaved, the poor,
190 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
the destitute. He once asked in an address to
clergy, " Do you know what it is to wrestle an
hour in prayer for a soul ? " His auditors felt that
he knew it. It came out on another occasion, that
he had continued for the whole night in prayer for
a murderer on the eve of execution.
He was also " mighty in the Scriptures," which he
may be said to have studied on his knees. Through
them the voice of God seemed to speak to him,
and though not in the ordinary sense of the term a
popular preacher, he spoke with a freshness and
power which seldom failed to touch the hearts of
those who heard him.
It was no mere hearsay, for though he searched
diligently and gathered knowledge of the sacred
writings from many sources, he spoke, at first hand
as it were, with meekness and humility but with
strong conviction. " I believe, therefore have I
spoken." And thus, firm on the rock and strong
in God he could
" Stretch out a loving hand
To wrestlers with the troubled sea."
His Commentary shows a wide and deep knowledge
of the Holy Scriptures, and it was a matter for
surprise that he found time to prepare it, amidst
the pressure of parochial and public work ; and in
addition to this he often had literary undertakings
in hand, being for a time the editor of a Magazine
known as Evening Hours.
He was a staunch upholder of the older methods
of interpretation, deprecating the adoption of the
Revised Version for public worship, though he
CLOSING YEARS 191
valued it as a companion to the older translation.
He naturally regarded the Higher Critics with a
jealous vigilance, his motto being, "Prove all
things ; hold fast that which is true."
All who knew the Bishop well, were struck by
his generosity. To quote his own words, he knew
"the holy hilarity of giving." His was a nature
which delighted to give of its resources to others,
and it will never be known to how many he
ministered in their necessities. His large gifts
to Missions, and to other causes, benevolent and
philanthropic, were mainly earned by strenuous
toil of brain and pen. The grateful affection
which came to him in return was " good measure,
pressed down and running over." It was a well-
spring of happiness to him, to "be a helper of
Another trait which should be noted, was his
love of children, whose hearts opened out to him
as flowers to the sun. He introduced children s
services in his Cathedral on Holy Innocents Day,
when he would give the addresses himself. He
revived the ancient custom in Exeter Cathedral
of the Bishop blessing the choristers on the Great
Festivals. He also welcomed them at the Palace
on Christmas Eve, when they would sing carols
after dinner and receive hospitality. Throughout
life he kept the guilelessness and joyousness of
childhood ; he had the child s heart.
Method and diligence he carried into every
thing, and his powers of work were unusual. Few
assuredly would have fewer wasted hours to mourn
when life s day was done. He did much of his
192 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
reading on railway journeys, and, though active
and alert, he never gave one the sense of being in
a hurry. He exemplified a saying which he would
now and then repeat, "Drive your work, do not
let your work drive you."
With a good business capacity and a clear head,
he had the faculty of seizing the points at issue.
Although too gentle and considerate to make
a very successful chairman, he was firm when
needful, and there were those who found beneath
his mild exterior a foundation of adamant where
moral and religious principle was concerned. In
such cases he was inflexible and absolutely fearless ;
he accepted no man s person.
In social hours the charm of his personality was
magnetic. His finely stored memory, his classical
refinement of taste, his wide reading, his remini
scences of travel, his winning courtesy, his keen
sense of humour made him the centre of attraction
in every circle. He greatly enjoyed a good story,
and could tell one himself with inimitable grace.
Some will remember his merriment when he
described something which happened to him shortly
after his appointment. In speaking of his pre
decessor, he said that, " He was a crystal of many
facets." In the next morning s paper he was
reported as having said that "Dr. Temple was
a Christian of many faces," a mistake which he
corrected post-haste in a letter to the Bishop of
On one occasion after a sermon by a well-known
clergyman, he thanked the preacher, who said to
him, "This is a sermon I preached thirty years
CLOSING YEARS 193
ago." " Indeed ? " replied the Bishop. " It reminds
one of mummy wheat."
His physical powers were above the average,
and like many others thus endowed, he found
recreation in turning from one pursuit to another
quite as exacting as the one which he had left
off. He also contrived to work on a very small
allowance of sleep, being often up till long after
midnight, and rising long before the busy world
was astir, for his early communings with God.
His energy was unwearied, but it never
degenerated into fussiness ; it was tempered by
geniality and kindliness, by unfailing consideration
for others, and by extraordinary thoughfulness for
their comfort. He had the tact and insight
which come from love, and he would arouse in
terest and even enthusiasm for work in unexpected
For some years after his appointment as Bishop
he enjoyed a game at tennis, rode, took long walks
and climbed hills with a zest which does not often
last until a man is sixty. The activity and pluck,
shown by him whilst mounting the Eddystone
in a rough sea, won the admiration of Sir Redvers
Although gifted with much shrewdness and
sagacity, his judgments of men most often erred
on the side of charity ; he would think too highly
of them, and sometimes he was disappointed. But
he never grew suspicious, far less cynical. A
favourite saying from Paradise Lost was often on
" Suspicion sleeps at wisdom s gate."
194 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
He believed that men were likely to become
trustworthy if you trusted them.
Now and then he mistook the meaning and
intention of those with whom he had to do, where
there were differences between them. He exagge
rated points of agreement, and would persuade
himself that they were nearer to his own way of
thinking than they really were. This arose from
"the charity which believeth all things," but
which did not for the time take into account other
factors of the case. It was a noble failing. His
preferring others in love, his disposition " to make
or find the best," will have appeared in his relations
with those who did not see eye to eye with him in
Church matters. For, after all, there is a mutual
understanding, a holy freemasonry, as it were,
between the souls of saintly men though they
may be at opposite poles of theological thought,
or move in very different zones of feeling and
experience. In the presence of the Lord whom
they love and serve, mistrust and suspicion melt
away, barriers disappear and their oneness in
Him is realized. When this has taken place
there can be no abiding or serious estrangement
afterwards. His intercourse with men like the
Rev. G. R. Prynne, 1 the sainted High Church
leader in Plymouth, was marked by much that
was "lovely and of good report" on both sides.
And by none of those who had been his clergy
was his memory honoured with more rever
ence and affection, than by many of those
1 See the correspondence with the Bishop in the " Life of Mr.
CLOSING YEARS 195
belonging to that school of thought in the Exeter
Alas ! for how many the world was poorer when
he left it, and yet how different too for his having
been with them, and for the holy example, the
uplifting influence and the lessons of love and
wisdom which he has left them. The words of one
of his loveliest hymns will direct them to the waters
of comfort during " the little while " which at the
longest, must separate those on earth from those
whose rest is won.
" Till He come, Oh let the words
Linger on the trembling chords ;
Let the little while between
In their golden light be seen ;
Let us think how heaven and home
Lie beyond that Till He come.
When the weary ones we love
Enter on their rest above,
Seems the earth so poof and vast,
All our life-joy overcast?
Hush, be every murmur dumb ;
It is only Till He come.
Clouds and conflicts round us press ;
Would we have one sorrow less ? _.
All the sharpness of the Cross,
All that tells the world is loss,
Death and darkness, and^the tomb,
Only whisper Till He come.
See, the Feast of Love is spread,
Drink the Wine and break the Bread,
Sweet memorials till the Lord
Call us round His heavenly board ;
Some from earth, from glory some,
Severed only Till He come/ "
Such words may well bring to a close the story
196 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
of his own life, and may it be granted to all who
have been helped by his influence, or inspired by
his poetry, to follow in his footsteps and finally
" To rest for ever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life."
THE literary executors of the late Cardinal Newman have
kindly placed at the disposal of the writer the following
letters upon the subject of the additional verse to the hymn
"Lead, Kindly Light "
"The Oratory, June 20, 1874.
" MY DEAR SIR,
" I thank you very much for your kind letter and
for your purpose of adding a note to your Hymnal on the
subject of my verses.
" I agree with you that these verses are not a Hymn, nor
are they suitable for singing, and it is that which at once
surprises and gratifies me, and makes me thankful that in
spite of their having no claim to be used as a hymn, they
have made their way into so many collections.
" Thank you, too, for the beautiful memoir which you send.
You have the greatest of consolations in your great trials.
I am glad to have your little book, both for its own sake and
as one of the many instances which are brought home to sad
hearts, that the God of all grace has not forsaken us English
in spite of our many sins.
" Very truly yours,
"JOHN H. NEWMAN.
"Rev. E. H. Bickersteth."
" The Palace, Exeter, September 3, 1890.
"You were good enough to correspond with me
a year ago, on behalf of the late Cardinal Newman, regard
ing his hymn " Lead, Kindly Light," to which I had ventured
to add a verse in the first edition of my * Hymnal Companion
to the Book of Common Prayer. 1
" As I mentioned to you, I thought he had condoned my
doing so in 1874, but I could not refer to his letter, as I
APPENDIX I 199
had given it to my son who is Bishop of the Church of
England in Japan. But I wrote to my son for a copy of the
Cardinal s letter, which he has sent me, and you may possibly
like to have the copy of it which I enclose, as the second
paragraph so clearly expresses the author s own estimate of
a hymn now so universally prized. And I think, the first
paragraph of his letter will explain, how I thought I had
received his tacit consent to my continuing to print my lines
after his beautiful Lyric in my Hymnal, if I added a note,
as I offered to do, saying the last verse was written by
myself. This note I added in the second Annotated Edition.
The verse was founded on the Collect for S. John the Evan
gelist s Day, thus
" Meantime along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God,
To rest for ever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life."
" And the Cardinal had been pleased to say in his first
note on the subject how he liked the verse in itself. And
this no doubt helped me to interpret the first paragraph of
the letter which I enclose, as I did. The third revised and
enlarged Edition of my Hymnal will be issued very shortly.
The hymn "Lead, Kindly Light" appears very early in the
book among those for Evening Prayer, verbatim as it was
written, without abridgement or addition. And my verse,
which has been for twenty years appended to it in my
Hymnal, is now banished to the end of the volume among
the doxologies, refrains and sequels. The prayer it breathes
is one in which I feel sure we shall all agree.
" Believe me,
" Yours sincerely,
E. H. EXON."
" The Rev. Father W. P. Neville."
ON THE UNFINISHED EDITION OF THE
THE Rev. H. V. Bickersteth, for ten and a half years
Chaplain to the Bishop, writes as follows :
"My father could not have been happy without some
literary work on the stocks ; and so, when he had finished
the third edition of his hymnal, in 1890, he soon commenced
a task which occupied his intervals of leisure during the next
few years, but which he was unable to complete. His plan
embraced a fresh edition of his Commentary on the New
Testament, with a careful review of the renderings of the
Authorised Greek. To go deeply into matters of textual
criticism would have involved deeper knowledge of the sub
ject, and nearer access to libraries than he possessed. Time
also forbade. 1 Though not himself in agreement with the
Westcott and Hort theory, he practically let the text alone.
He took the Authorised Greek as a basis, and then with
great pains constantly weighed the renderings into English,
with special references to any alterations in the 1611 version,
made by the Revisers. The Revisers did not give their
authorities, but the Bishop thought that if it could be shown
that changes had received the support of such well-established
versions, as WycliftVs, Tyndale s, CranmerX etc., the hasty
criticism of some useful but apparently fresh translations
would be disarmed. It is true that he started with a good
deal of latent opposition to the 1881 revision, but it may be
said that, though estimating it highly as a commentary from
the first, after close and patient study he felt a growing
thankfulness for much of the work done by these eminent
scholars. The authorities which he chiefly used were :
It is hard to get time to read," said he to his brother Bishop of
Truro, looking fondly at his library shelves. " Well," said the other,
" outside application is something."
APPENDIX II 201
Wycliffe, Tyndale, Cranmer, Geneva, Rheims, Scholefield,
Trench, Vaughan, Lightfoot, Chadwick, Ellicott, Burgon,
Mayor, Miller, besides the judgments of other well-known
commentators. He was genuinely diffident as to his labours,
and expressed the view that if he could, under God, be the
means of enriching the future Authorised Version of the
English Bible, with but one or two renderings, he should
feel more than repaid for his toil. And it was here that his
felicity of diction, his pv8/j.oQ, was likely to be of use. A
former Bishop of Exeter had enriched our language by his
rhythmical version of the Psalms, which held the day when
the Authorised Version of 1611 took the place of the Great
Bible of 1540."
Whether this would have been the result of any sug
gestion made by Bishop Bickersteth it is impossible to
say. No true work is thrown away, but to submit patiently
to the providence which left ten years of toil in an
unfinished condition, involved the bearing of a cross of no
Some examples of renderings which the Bishop suggested
are given, as being of interest to students.
I. In St. Matt. xi. 28, render ol KOTnwvrce, " Ye that are
II. In 2 Cor. iv. 17, render *a0 vTrepjSoArjv etc virepfloXriv,
" A far, far more excellent."
III. In 1 Thess. iv. 14, render roue KoifJwOevTaG Sia row
!?<TOU, "Who were laid to sleep by Jesus. 1
IV. In Jas. v. 16, render iroXv iffxytt Slijerte SIKCUOV ivtp-
yov^t vi?, " Great is the force of a righteous man s wrestling
V. Eph. v. 24. The verse might be rendered, " Grace be
with all whose love for our Lord Jesus Christ is imperish
able " (ev atfrOapcria).
VI. In Rom. xvi. 25, render \p6voig CUWVIOIQ ataiyninivov,
"Which hath been kept in silence during times eternal"
(measurable by ages).
VII. TrXoTov, ir\oidpiov, vavg. It is difficult to translate
these words in the New Testament so as to mark the distinc
tion between them, but it seems best to render -nrXotov, "boat,"
on the small inland Sea of Galilee (See Tyndale, Revised
202 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Version, etc.), and the same word "ship" on the Mediterranean
Sea, e.g. in Acts xxvii. 2, where TrXotov is equivalent to
vavg, a vessel which we are told (in verse 37) held 276
persons. And TrXom^tov should always be rendered "a
VIII. In St. Matt. ii. 6, render irotjuava, " who shall shep
herd." For this use of " shepherd," cf. " Shepherding his
bright fountains " (Shelley, Arethusa, ii. 262) ; also Rev. ii.
27, where Trotjuatvet implies inflexible righteousness, but the
rod of iron is held in the hand of One who has a Shepherd s
IX. In St. Matt. iv. 6, juijTrore indicates rather the unex
pectedness of an occurrence than the uncertainty of the time
when it may occur. It is here rendered " lest peradventure "
(Wycliff); "lest perhaps" (Rheims); but "lest haply"
(R. V.) well represent it in most places.
X. In St. Matt. viii. 20, render Karao-xjv(u<Tae, " roosts ; "
cf. " He clapped his wings upon his roosts " (Dryden).
XI. In 1 Pet. iii. 18, render Trpotrayayy, " give access ; "
cf. Rom. v. 1, 2.
XII. In 2 Cor. v. 19, render TOV \6yov TTJC icaraXXayijc
(with Tyndale, Cranmer, Geneva), "the preaching of the
XIII. Acts viii. 30, apa 76 ytvoWae a avayivwmcae. We
cannot retain in an English translation the condensed
thought and beauty of this question : " It is well thou art
thus engaged ; but does thy heart read what thine eye is
reading ? "
XIV. In St. John xi. 50, "Ye know nothing at all."
Not an imputation of crass ignorance, but of lack of pene
Also, St. John i. 11 : " That which was His own," and
" They that were His own," which brings out the distinction
between ra tSta and ot ISioi.
XV. In Rom ii. 18, render Karrjx V ( ei oe, " being schooled
in " (cf. Shakespeare).
XVI. Many instances might be given where slight altera
tions are suggested to save rhythm, such as Acts vii. 40,
" We wist not what," instead of " wot not what."
APPENDIX II 203
In St. Luke ix. 12, render K\IVEIV, " draw towards sunset, 11
instead of " wear away, 11 avoiding the repetition of " away. 11
Rom. viii. 19, render aTroKapaSoiaa, " earnest expectance, 1
for euphony s sake, before the words " creation " and " reve
lation, 11 in the same verse. " Expectance " and " expectancy "
are used by Shakespeare and Milton.
THE following brief note on Bishop Edward Bickersteth,
of South Tokyo, from the pen of Mr. Eugene Stock, will
be of interest to those who have not read the life of him
by his brother, the Rev. Dr. Bickersteth, Vicar of Leeds,
which was published in 1899 :
" Edward Bickersteth, Fellow of Pembroke, Cambridge,
had been stirred up by intercourse with that distinguished
missionary, T. Valpy French, to devote himself to a mission
ary career, and had been led also, by French, to plan a
brotherhood (without vows) of Cambridge men, which should
form a strong and concentrated Mission, in affiliation with
one of the recognized societies. Leading men at the Uni
versity, Lightfoot and Westcott at their head, formed them
selves into a committee for the purpose of supporting such a
mission ; and eventually it was arranged to make Delhi the
centre of work, and to establish the * Cambridge Mission to
Delhi, in connection with the S.P.G.
" The first party, headed by Edward Bickersteth, went
out in 1877. Amongst its members were Mr. Lefroy (now
Bishop of Lahore) and Mr. Allnutt (now Head of the
Mission). The Mission from the first excited much interest,
and it has always been regarded as, in many ways, a pattern
of judicious organization and vigorous work. It has been
the prototype of other efforts such as the Oxford Mission
to Calcutta, and the Dublin University Missions in Chota
Nagpore (S.P.G.) and Fuh-Kien (C.M.S.).
"In 1885 Bishop Poole, of Japan, having died in the
second year of his episcopate, Archbishop Benson appointed
Edward Bickersteth to the vacant see.
" For twelve years the new bishop did admirable service in
Japan, particularly in the establishment of two Associated
Missions, St. Andrew s for men,. and St. Hilda s for women,
on the lines already well tested at Delhi ; also in the forma
tion of the Nippon Sei-Kokwai, the Japanese Church in
APPENDIX III 205
communion with the Churches of England and America. He
was a real missionary statesman, who won the confidence of
the C.M.S. as well as of the S.P.G., and in whose career the
Bishop of Exeter found one of the greatest joys of his life.
" But this was not the only family link of the Bishop s
with the mission field. It was again and again a cause of
unfeigned satisfaction to him to see one and another of his
family circle going forth in the name of the Lord. Two of
his sisters, widows, were Mrs. Durrant and Mrs. Cook. In
1876, the stepson of the former, the Rev. G. B. Durrant
(now a Secretary of C.M.S. in Salisbury Square), went to
India. In 1894 Mrs. Durrant herself, the Bishop s sister,
went in advancing years to India, accompanied by her
daughter, Miss Emily Bickersteth Durrant, and followed
two years later by her son, the Rev. H. B. Durrant. In
1896 and 1899, two sons of Mrs. Cook, Drs. A. R. and J. H.
Cook, went to Uganda as medical missionaries. All six were
in connexion with the C.M.S."
THE following passages from the Bishop s Charges of 1888
and 1895 illustrate his views upon subjects which are of
more than transient and local importance.
" Daily Services, The Clergy in Country Parishes, and
"1. DAILY SERVICES. The humblest house of prayer
ought, save with rare exceptions, to have its daily service and
its weekly celebration of the Holy Communion. Many of the
clergy seem to think this is impossible in their parishes ; their
churches are far away from the bulk of the inhabitants ; a
daily service, they say, would only be attended by the mem
bers of their own family, and perhaps two or three aged
neighbours; and as to a weekly Communion, they find it
difficult to gather their communicants around the Holy Table
once a month.
U " Now, here I would remind you the Preface to our Prayer
Book says: All priests and deacons are to say daily the
Morning and Evening Prayer, either privately or openly, not
being let by sickness or some other urgent cause. And the
curate that ministereth in every parish church or chapel,
being at home and not being otherwise reasonably hindered,
shall say the same in the parish church or chapel where he
ministereth, and shall cause a bell to be tolled thereunto
a convenient time before he begin, that the people may come
to hear God s Word and to pray with him.
"I know that this habit has widely fallen into disuse.
But, I ask, has the disuse tended to the greater devoutness
of our people ? I trow not. Is family prayer (and I should
be sorry indeed to do anything that would weaken that great
bond of home piety) but is family prayer so general that
it supplies all who desire it with the daily opportunities of
united worship ? I trow not. Is the Morning and Evening
Prayer said privately in their own homes by those who fail to
say it in Church ? I trow not by most clergymen. There is
APPENDIX IV 207
something to my mind inexpressibly dreary and desolate
in the house of God being closed from Monday mornino-
to Saturday night. A closed church repels rather than
attracts the heart s best sympathies. And, on the other
hand, the very fact of the house of prayer being opened day
by day, and the church-going bell being tolled, and the little
company of suppliants being known to assemble together for
worship, has a quiet but deep influence on the minds of
others. Be it that only two or three are there, the prayer of
St. Chrysostom has lost nothing of its virtue by the lapse of
years ; the Saviour s promise is pleaded, and will not be
pleaded in vain. Who does not gratefully think of Anna in
the temple ? The little rivulet of prayer swells the great tide
of supplication, which is arising from the church militant
night and day. And the numbers of worshippers will
increase. Children will become used to the devout custom.
In times of illness and anxiety at home, other members of
the family will be found stealing into the church that they
may join in the prayers offered for the sufferer. So times of
deliverance will claim united thanksgiving. By degrees the
church would vindicate its name more and more as the house
of prayer. It may take the lifetime of a generation fully to
revive the use of the daily office ; but the lifetime of a gene
ration is a short period in the history of a church.
" I have spoken of the house of God being open for daily
service. But why should it ever be closed from morning
to night ? It is not that I view private prayer to be of more
avail in God s house than in our own homes. But there are
many, especially in our large towns, though not in these only,
who cannot make a solitude and silence for devotion in their
own homes ; and it seems only right that the house of prayer
should be available for their use. I remember how earnestly
the revered Hugh McNeile, when a pastor in Liverpool,
advocated this, saying that many of the working classes found
it so hard to obey our Master s command, * But thou, when
thou prayest, enter thou into thy closet, and when thou hast
shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret. Per
haps they have a large family and only one or two rooms,
and find it difficult indeed to secure a quiet corner for prayer
and study of the Word. But in going forth to their work or
returning at nightfall, or even at the noonday meal time,
they can snatch a few minutes for thought and prayer in the
courts of the Lord s house. Surely, if this usage became
general among us, a new glory would clothe the promise,
208 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all
" 2. THE CLERGY IN COUNTRY PARISHES. At the very
commencement of his episcopate, the Bishop was met by the
difficulty of all dioceses with large rural districts, namely, the
existence of very small parishes and the consequent lack of
work for the parish priests in charge. Thus, according to
the last census, there are twenty-three parishes with less than
one hundred souls, sixty-one with more than one hundred
and less than two hundred, sixty-three more than two hun
dred and less than three hundred souls. And this impression
has been accentuated and emphasized by the complaints to
me of some excellent clergymen who long to spend and be
spent for Christ, that they hardly know how to fill up their
time. They have said that in the course of one or two days
every week they can visit every parishioner they think it wise
and well to visit ; there are not enough children to form a
parochial week-day school, and on Sunday the worshippers
are so few, they feel it difficult to rouse themselves for due
preparation. They are active, and strong, and willing, but
there is not enough to be done. Time hangs heavy on their
" Now this is a real and practical evil which ought to be
grappled with and overcome. Mental and moral sinews
unused become useless.
" I quite admit that it may be a serious question with
such brethren, whether they are right in continuing to hold
a pastoral charge which seems below the powers with which
the Master has gifted them, when the Church, both at home
and abroad, is crying out for labourers in fields white to the
harvest. But many have carefully weighed this question,
and are persuaded, so far as they can read the signs of God s
providence, they are working where He would have them
" I would then remind them that in the quiet of their
life they may especially cultivate the garden of their own
souls. How often, in large, overgrown parishes, are pastors
complaining, They made me keeper of the vineyards, but
mine own vineyard have I not kept. Well has a modern
student said, * The character of Christian life in our own time
is rather humane than devotional, its tendency rather out
ward than upward, its utterance rather in works of mercy
than in songs of praise. Have we not all to be on our
APPENDIX IV 209
guard, that we do not make our worship merely public
service, and so fail to make our service worship ? In our
own free age and country, when opportunities for doing good
are so multiplied, when there is not a talent or a grace but
may find its own full and appropriate exercise in the great
field of work, may we not learn something from the men
of those more fettered days, when Christian life, hemmed
in on all sides but one, rose with all its force towards the
heavens, from which no human tyranny could shut it out ?
And thus may we learn more to seek communion with God,
not merely as the strength for work, but as the end and
crown of all work ; not chiefly as the means of life, but its
highest object. At least, my brethren, let not the Master
have occasion to say to any who long for more work, * What,
could ye not watch with me one hour ?
" And then, suffer me to remind you, as I would remind
myself, of the awful value of one soul for whom Christ died,
one living soul, that mysterious microcosm in which the con
flict between light and darkness is being waged, and the new
creation must be wrought in the man, or woman, or child
that is born of God. And you are shepherding one, or two,
or three hundred such souls. You are watching for them as
those that must give account. God grant that you may go
before them, and lead them day by day to the green pastures
and still waters, and bring them at last to the heavenly fold.
"But even when the utmost heed is given to personal
religion and pastoral work, how often in such small parishes
much of priceless time and strength remains; and the
question has weighed heavily upon me, how can this surplus
of mental and spiritual force in willing labourers be utilized
for the glory of God and the service of His church ? "
Then, after enumerating the list of large and overgrown
parishes in the diocese seventeeen, for instance, with between
five and ten thousand he added :
"Now, I venture to ask you, if the superabundant
strength of the clergy in small parishes cannot be laid as
a votive offering at Christ s feet, to redress in some measure
this great inequality of labour. I should be very sorry to
see parishes reduced to a dead level in numbers, or to have
the ancient landmarks removed. But I believe much might
be done by brotherly counsel and co-operation, Our rural
deaneries, which are such an increasing power in the Church
210 EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
of England, supply the framework ; and ruridecanal chapters
would afford the opportunities for arrangements.
" If every clergyman who is in charge of a small parish
would undertake some work for which he is especially quali
fied, or for which he could by prayer and pains qualify him
self, his talent would not long be buried. Perhaps he
would take up
" (a) Education in its manifold branches, mastering its
details and its latest developments in schools for all classes,
and being ready to respond to the request of any brother who
might apply to him for advice and assistance ; or
" (&) The great Social Questions of temperance, soberness,
and chastity, and the kindred subject of healthful recreation,
such as bell-ringing and choral unions ; or
" (c) The Dwellings of the Poor and the kindred subject
of Thrift; or
" (d) Church History, which is our best and truest church
defence, including the great and necessarv controversy with
the fallen Church of Rome ; or
" (e) Home Mission Work, as represented by the Church
Pastoral Aid and Additional Curates 1 Societies ; or
" (/") Missions to the Colonies and to the Heathen, as re
presented by the Gospel Propagation and Church Missionary
Societies. To make himself thoroughly acquainted with the
work carried on in a single field of missionary enterprise, as
Africa, or India, or China, or Japan, or America, or the
islands of the Pacific, so as to be able to lecture upon it,
might well engage the prayerful study of one labourer ; or
" (g} Theology, that highest of all sciences : are there
not resident among us masters in Israel at whose feet we
would all gladly sit and learn ? or
"(&) that which of all efforts demands the deepest
humility, and the ripest faith, and the most Christ-like love
of souls, I mean the conduct of Quiet Days, and Retreats,
and Parochial Missions.
" And in many of these works, my reverend brethren,
you will be able to engage the willing co-operation of the
laity ; they will be first your disciples, and soon your fellow-
" Other subjects will suggest themselves to you ; one
clerical friend could give a day, or two days, a week of pas
toral visitation in the parish of an overburdened brother;
another could take a weekly lecture; another could edit a
ruri-decanal magazine. But the Apostle s words will abide
with us all, As we have many members in one body, and
all members have not the same office, so we being many
are one body in Christ, and every one members one of
another ; having then gifts differing according to the grace
given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according
to the proportion of faith ; or ministry, let us wait on our
ministering ; or he that teacheth, on teaching. Let us
settle it in our minds, the Church wants the gifts with
which Christ has endowed every one of His servants; we
shall then be prepared to listen to the Apostle s charge to
Timothy, Neglect not the gift that is in thee.
" 3. HOME REUNION AND THE REUNION OF CHRISTENDOM.
The Grindelwald gathering of Churchmen and Nonconformists,
convened on the basis of the Lambeth Conference proposals,
Mr. Gladstone s article on * The Place of Heresy and Schism
in the Modern Christian Church, the address of Lord Hali
fax to the Bristol branch of the English Church Union, the
Pope s recent Encyclical, have all drawn the thoughts and
studies of Christian men to demand an answer to the ques
tion, Why are the disciples of Christ so separated from one
another ? The discussion will, I trust, give fresh urgency to
our supplication, when we pray for the whole Church Militant
here on earth, and beseech God to inspire continually the
Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord.
But we cannot forget that truth comes before unity and
unity before concord. We are trustees of the faith once for
all delivered to the saints ; we cannot surrender it without
breach of trust.
" For example, we as Churchmen steadfastly believe that
infant baptism is according to the mind of Christ ; we dare
not forego it to secure corporate reunion with Baptist dis
senters. We steadfastly believe in the historic episcopate as
Christ s will and ordinance for the shepherding of His Church,
we dare not put it aside to secure corporate reunion with
Independent Nonconformists. We steadfastly believe in one
Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus ; but
we repudiate the mediatorship of the Virgin Mary and Saints
in Paradise. We steadfastly believe that Christ is the Truth
in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
and that all scripture is given by inspiration of God ; but we
repudiate the infallibility of the Pope arid his decretals. We
steadfastly believe that in the Holy Communion Feast, the
souls of the faithful are strengthened and refreshed by the
EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
Body and Blood of Christ as their bodies are by the bread
and wine ; but we utterly repudiate Transubstantiation in
the Supper of the Lord. We pray from the heart that our
brethren in the Confession of our one Lord and Master,
though now overshadowed by so many grievous and perilous
superstitions, may be drawn to the purer faith and freedom
which we enjoy. They must come to us ; we cannot go to
them. Be their invitations ever so persuasive, be their offers
ever so attractive, * Quicquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona
" The thought that the disunion of Christendom is the
great obstacle to the conversion of the world to Christ,
no doubt weighs heavily on many hearts. I know it has
often weighed on mine. But I would emphasize a convic
tion that the intercession of our Great High Priest for the
Unity of His people, when He said, Neither pray I for
those alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me
through their word, that they all may be one, as Thou,
Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that the world may believe
that Thou hast sent Me, has been progressively fulfilled
during these long centuries of the Church s warfare in those
who pass within the veil."
" The architect who is building a magnificent cathedral
may draw his granite stones, and massive monoliths, and
precious marbles, from far distant quarries, where they have
been hewn, and chiselled, and polished ; others may lie for a
while alongside of each other without touching, beneath the
shadow of the walls, while the structure is being builded ;
but as they fill, one by one, their appointed places in the
edifice, the symmetry of the design, which was from the
first in the Architect s mind, begins by degrees to appear. It
is not, however, until the work is finished that the irresistible
fascination of oneness, myriads of stones forming one temple,
is felt in all its power. Then multitudes flock from all lands
to see, and admire, and imitate. So are all the Saints built
upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus
Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone, in Whom all
the building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy
temple in the Lord for an habitation of God through the
"While the stones are being hewn and polished |in the
quarries or workshop of the mason, there must needs be
jarring sounds, and grinding frictions, and biting sculptures,
and divers fragments scattered here and there, but as we read
of Solomon s temple, the house, when it was in building,
was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither,
so that there was neither hammer nor axe, nor any tool of
iron heard in the house while it was in building. So it is
in the Paradise of the Blessed Dead. But when the top
stone is brought forth, when Christ shall appear and His
people with Him in glory, then shall the prayer of our
Advocate with the Father be fulfilled ; then shall the Church
of the First-Born be revealed as the Bride for ever one, and
the world, attracted by that perfect unity, shall believe on
the Eternal Son of God. I am persuaded we often take too
limited a view of the designs unfolded in the Scriptures of
truth. We do well to remember how very early in the
development of the counsels of the Most High our lot is
cast. One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day. Of His own will begat He us,
that we should be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures.
The illimitable harvest is yet to come."
Proposed Inscription for a Memorial Brass to the Bishop
in Exeter Cathedral :
To THE GLORY OF GOD
and in loving remembrance of
EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH, D.D.
Vicar of Christ Church, Hampstead, 1855-1885,
BISHOP OF EXETER
The only son of the Rev. Edward Bickersteth,
Rector of Watton, Herts., born on the Festival of
the Conversion of St. Paul, 1825, and called to his
rest on May 16, 1906.
He was a holy and humble man of heart ;
As Parish Priest, watchful in the pastoral care of
his flock and enthusiastic in missionary zeal ;
As Bishop, a true father in God, strong in sym
pathy, and tender in his rule ;
As Poet, used of God to enrich the treasury of
sacred song, comforting many by his hymn
" Peace, perfect Peace."
" Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in
hope, continuing instant in prayer."
WORKS BY EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH, D.D.
Poems. 12mo. Seeley. 1848.
Water from the Wellspring ; Meditation. 12mo. Religious
Tract Society. 1852.
Ezekiel, The Seatonian Prize Poem. 8vo. Bell and Daldy.
Sabbath Evening Dialogues. 18mo. Seeley. 1855.
The Rock of Ages ; Scripture Testimony to Eternal Godhead
of Father and Son, and Holy Ghost. 16mo. Religious
Tract Society. 1860.
Scripture Testimony to one Eternal Godhead. Post 8vo.
Religious Tract Society. 1860.
The Blessed Dead; What does Scripture Reveal? 12mo.
Practical and Expository Commentary on the New Testament.
Hades and Heaven; What does Scripture Reveal? 12mo.
Risen Saints ; What does Scripture Reveal ? 12mo. Shaw.
Yesterday, To-Day and For Ever; a Poem. Post 8vo.
The Spirit of Life ; or, Scripture Testimony. 8vo. Religious
Tract Society. 1869.
Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer. Low.
Two Brothers and other Poems. 12mo. Rivingtons. 1871.
The Master s Home Call : a Memoir of Alice Frances Bicker-
steth. 32mo. Low. 1872.
EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH
The Reef and other Parables. 8vo. Low. 1873.
The Shadowed Home and the Light Beyond. 12mo. Low.
Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer. Second
Edition, Revised. 1874.
The Shadow of the Rock." Low. 1875.
The Clergyman in his Home. 8vo. Low. 1876.
The Master s Will ; a Sermon on the late Mrs. S. G. Buxton.
32mo. Low. 1879.
The Lord s Table ; or, Meditation on the Holy Communion.
18mo. Rivingtons. 1882.
Evangelical Churchmanship and Eclecticism. 8vo. Low.
From Year to Year ; Poems and Hymns. 16mo. Low.
Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer. Third
Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 1890.
The Feast of Divine Love ; or, the Lord s Table ; Meditation
on the Holy Communion Office. 18mo. Low. 1896.
Septett of Missionary Hymns and Music. Low. 1898.
Thoughts in Past Years. Crown 8vo. Low. 1901.
Adams, Professor, 12
Allnutt, Rev. S. S. 143, 144, 204
Arnold, Dr., 12
Arnott, Miss, 150
Athanasian Creed, Bickersteth s
views as to, 43
Atherton, Canon, 64, 88
Banningham, Bickersteth appointed
to, 15 ; his work at, 16-19 ; his
visit to (1894), 86
Bardsley, Bp., 36
Bateman, Rev. R., 145
Benson, Abp., 154, 204
Bible, revised version of, Bicker
steth s views as to, 47, 190, 191, 199
Biblical criticism, Bickersteth s
views as to, 73
Bickerstaff, Ralph, 2
Bickersteth, Alice Frances
(daughter), 26, 117, 125
, Charlotte (Mrs. Ward), 88
, Bp. Edward (son), school
days of, 25 ; missionary work of,
19 ; founds Cambridge Mission to
Delhi, 32-33, 204; letters to,
from his father, 33-49, 79-88;
his father s visit to, 138 ; returns
from India invalided, 49, 89;
Bishop at Tokyo, 154, 204;
voyage to Vancouver, 155 ; back
to Japan with his father, 156 ;
death of, 89 ; otherwise men
tioned, 139-145, 159-164
, Rev. Edward, Dean of Lich-
field (cousin), 2
Bickersteth, Rev. Edward (father),
home of, at Islington, 1 ; career
of, 3-4; appointed to Watton,
4 ; family life, 5-7 ; letters of,
quoted, 9, 18; death of, 19;
otherwise mentioned, 118, 180
, Mrs. Edward (mother), 1, 10, 26
, Bp. Edward Henry
Career, chronological sequence of
Birth, 1; boyhood, 5-10; at
Cambridge, 7-8, 11-14; or
dained deacon, 14 ; married to
Rosa Bignold, 15; curate of
Banningham, 15 ; ordained
priest, 15 ; parish work, 16-18 ;
C.M.S. Jubilee, 19 ; curate at
Tunbridge Wells, 19 ; pastor
ate at flinton Martell, 19-22 ;
accepts living of Christ Church,
Hampstead, 22 ; visit to
America, 30 : appointed Rural
Dean of Highgate, 38 ; visit to
India, 46, 137-149; visit to
Palestine, 150-154 ; appointed
to Deanery of Gloucester, 53 ;
consecrated bishop, 55 ; en
thronement address, 56 ; con
firmations, 58-59 ; ordinations,
59-61 ; reform of the chapter,
63-64; Episcopal administra
tion, 64-67 ; hospitality, 67 ;
gathering of Nonconformist
ministers, 68-71 ; home life
at Exeter, 186 ; visit to Canada
and Vancouver, 155 ; to Japan,
82, 156-162 ; revisits Banning
ham, 86 ; Church Congress,
Bickersteth, Bp. E. H. continued.
(1894), 71-78, 86-87 ; Lambeth
Conference (1897), 88 ; presen
tation of portrait, 92-98 ; re
signation, 171-177 ; removal to
London, 177 ; death, 178
Charges of (1888-1895), 204-213
Letters from, to his son Edward,
Memorial, brass, in Exeter Cathe
dral, inscription for, 214
Bibliography of, 215-216
Chancellor s Prize Poems, 13,
" From Year to Year," 91, 118,
" Hades and Heaven," 128
Hymns, 19, 43, 136, 165, 181,
195 ; " Peace, perfect peace,"
Hymnal Companion." See that
" Lord s Table, The," 132
"Master s Home Call, The,"
Poems (1849), 119
"Psalms and Hymns (1858),
" Practical and Expository
Commentary on the New
Testament," 129-132, 190;
unfinished edition of, 200-
"Reef and other Parables,
"Rock of Ages, The," 123-124
" Sabbath Evenings at Home,"
"Shadowed Home and the
Light Beyond, The," 128-
"Some Words of Counsel,"
" Spirit of Life, The," 124-125
" Thoughts in Past Years," 132-
Bickersteth, Bp. E. H. continued.
Works of continued.
"Two Brothers and Other
Poems, The," 120
" Yesterday, To-day and For
Ever." See that title
" Water from the Well Spring,"
, Emily (sister). See Durrant
, Frances (sister), 10, 21
, Rev. H. V. (son), letter to,
from his father, 39 ; quoted, 200-
, Henry (Baron Langdale
, Miss M., quoted, 90-92
, Rt. Rev. Robert, Bp. of
Ripon (cousin), 2
, Robert (uncle), 2
, Rev. Samuel, D.D., Vicar of
Leeds (son), 204
Bignold, Sarah. See Bickersteth,
Mrs. E. (mother)
Birks, Rev. E. B. (nephew), quoted
on Bickersteth s career at
Cambridge, 12-13; on life at
Hinton Martell and Hampstead,
, Rev. Professor (brother-in-
law), 7, 14 ; cited, 40
Blunt, J. J., 12
Body, Rev. Canon, 48
Bramley, Prebendary, 176
Brand, Miss, 140
Brown, Baldwin, cited, 34, 35
Buller, Sir Redvers, 193
Burch, Arthur, 64
Calvinism, Bickersteth s attitude
Cambridge Mission to Delhi, 33,
Carpenter, Bp:, 38
Carter, Canon, 36
Carus, Wm., 11
" Catholic Party," Bickersteth s,
views as to phrase, 78
Cayley, Professor, 12
Chavasse, Bp., 60
Church, Dean, cited, 84-85
Church Missionary Society
Bickersteth, Bp., connected with,
Bickersteth, Rev. E., assistant-
secretary to, 3-4
Jubilee and Centenary of, 19
Church Congress at Exeter (1894),
Church reform, Bickersteth s atti
tude towards, 72-73
Clarence, H.R.H. Duke of, death,
Clark, Rev. Robert, 138, 145
Clergy in country parishes, Bicker
steth s Charge regarding, 208-
Clergy Pensions Institution, 75
Clergy Superannuation, Bicker
steth s views as to, 74-75
Clerical Friends in Council, 45, 49
Clinton, Lord, 97, 173
Coates, Rev. W. H., tribute to
Bickersteth by, 181-183
Cook, Mrs. (sister), 205
, Dr. A. R. (nephew), 205
, Dr. J. H. (nephew), 205
Country parishes, 208-211
Crediton, Bp. of, recollections of
Bickersteth by, 184-187
Daily services, Bickersteth s Charge
Davidson, Archbishop of Canter
Davison, Miss, 150
Dibdin, Sir Lewis, 65
Dodge, W. E., 70, 71
Drurnmond, Mrs., 25
Durnf ord, Bp. , 75
Durrant, Mrs. (sister), 205 ; quoted,
Durrant, Miss Emily Bickersteth
, Rev. G. B., 141, 205
, Rev. H. B. (nephew), 205
Earle, Bp., 60, 63
Edmonds, Chancellor, 60, 64 ; tri
bute to Bickersteth by, 179-181
Education, Bickersteth s views as
Ellis, Rev. James, 69
, Leslie, 12
Erskine, Thos., cited, 39
Evangelical Alliance, Bickersteth s
attitude towards, 32
Evangelical Revival (1780-1830), 85
Evans, Canon, 12, 13
, Miss, 140
Evening Hours, Bickersteth s editor
ship of, 190
Bickersteth appointed to see of,
50 ; consecrated, 55 ; his episco
pate, 55-98 ; home life, 90-92,
186 ; resignation, 171-177
Chapter at, 63, 64
Church Congress at (1894), 71-78,
Palace at, 89
Royal visit to (1896), 90
Fenn, Joseph (brother-in-law), 12,
Fortescue, Earl, quoted, 187
Fox, Rev. H. E., 87
French, T. Valpy, Bp., 23, 33, 34, 36,
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W. E., 50, 53,
Gloucester, Deanery of, Bicker
steth s appointment to, 53, 55
Grenfell, Mrs. Lydia, diary of,
Hackett, Mr., 147
Hampstead, Bickersteth s pastorate
at, 22, 23, 25-30, 44, 50-52
Hare, Julius, 12
Havergal, Miss F. R., 42
Hinton Marfcell, Bickersteth s pas
torate at, 19-22, 24
Hoare, Canon Edward, 48
Holy Communion, Bickersteth s
views as to, 38
Home Reunion and Reunion of
Christendom,Bickersteth s charge
Hope, Beresford, 48
How, Walsham, Bp., 43, 44
Howson, Dean, 43
Hunter, Rev. T. W. (of the S.P.G.),
Hutchings, Rev. W. H., 87
" Hymnal Companion to the Book
of Common Prayer"
Annotated edition of, 45, 115, 118
Compilation of, 113, 115-118,
Popularity of, 114
otherwise mentioned, 25, 30, 45
Iddesleigh, Earl of, 79-80
Ignatius, Father, 86
India, Bickersteth s visit to (1880),
Jackson, Bp., 39, 50
Jamal, Mr., 151, 152
Bickersteth s visit to, 156-162;
his impressions, 162-164
earthquake in, 160, 161
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John,
Kennedy, Mrs., 147
King, Bp., 55, 175 j letter from, 183
Kirkby Lonsdale, 2-8
Kirkes, Mrs., 158
Lambeth Conference (1897), 88
Lefroy, Bp., 143, 204
Leighton cited, 82
Liddon, Canon, 55
Lightfoot, Bp., 41, 204 ; comparison
of, with Westcott, 42 ; death of,
Lloyd, Mr., 159
Luard, H. R., 11, 12
Macgregor, John, 13, 23
Maclnnes, Miss, quoted on Bicker
steth s work at Hampstead, 27-28
Maclagan, Abp., 37, 44
Macpherson, Rev. Dr., 71
Macrae, Miss, 157
Mahometanism, Bickersteth s atti
tude towards, 48
Maitland, Mr., 143
, S. R., 12
Martyn, Henry, 84, 85
Matthew, Bp., 146
Maurice, Rev. F. D., 12
Mayor, Rev. J. E. B. (cousin),
quoted on Bickersteth s Cam
bridge career, 11-12
Mill, W. H., 12
Missions, Foreign, Bickersteth s
zeal for, 27, 32, 33, 35, 66-67, 93,
136, 154, 164-169, 185 ; his appeal
for, at Church Congress (1894), 77
Moore, Rev. H., 158
Neville, Rev. Father W. P., 198
Newman, fCardinal, letters from,
Nicolai, Bp., 158
Nonconformist ministers, Bicker
steth s relations with, 68-71
Ordinations, 59-61, 85, 185
Palestine, Bickersteth s visit to,
Palmer, Dr. Ray, 30
Paradise Lost, Bickersteth s com
ments on, 133-134]
Pelham, Rt. Rev. the Hon. J. T.,
22, 27, 28
Pennefather, Rev. W., 27
Philpotts, Bp.,18, 57, 93
Philpotts Exhibitions, 61
Polygamists, baptism of, Bicker-
steth s views as to, 169-170
Preaching, Bickersteth s views as
to, 34, 47
Princetown, Confirmations at, 83
Prynne, Rev. G. R., 194
Punishment, eternal, Bickersteth s
belief in, 36-36, 123
Quiet Days. See Retreats.
Randall, Mr., 48
Record, extract from article in, 187
Retreats and Quiet Days, Bicker
steth s views as to, 31, 33-34, 38
Ridley, Bp., 43
Ritualistic clergy, Bickersteth s
relations with, 61-62, 194-195
Robinson, Mr., 159, 160
Rundall, Capt., 143
, Mrs. F. M. (daughter),
quoted on life at Hinton Mar-
tell, 21 ; on life at Hampstead,
Ryle, Bp., 178, 187
Salisbury, Marquess of, 66, 187
Sannomiya, Mr., 158
Sanders, Archdeacon, 55
Sandford, Archdeacon, 60, 64, 92-
Scholefield, Prof., 11
Sedgwick, Professor, 12
Selborne, Lord, 115, 116
Sermons, published, 132-135. See
Shirreff, Rev. F. A. P., 146
Smith, Miss, 146
Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel, 36, 169
Speechley, Bp., 43
Squires, Rev. H. C., 138
Stock, Eugene, quoted on Bp.
Bickersteth s missionary zeal,
164-170 ; on Bp. E. Bickersteth
of Japan, 204-205
Stokes, Professor, 12
Stone, Mr., 140
Sunday Observance, Bickersteth s
views as to, 67, 131
Swete, Prof., 87
Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury, 155
, Rev. W., cited, 129
Talbot, Bp., letter from, 177
Tatham, Mr., 24, 45
Teleki, Countess (cousin), 153
Temperance, Bickersteth s policy
Temple, Abp., 55, 93, 171, 187, 192 ;
estimate of Bickersteth by, 57
Tennyson, Lord, 28 note, 84
Tennyson, Mrs., 28 and note, 84
Thirlwall, Bp., 12
Thorold, Bp., 23, 35, 40, 55 ; letter
from, 71 note ; death of, 88
Titcombe, Bp., 34
Trefusis, Bp., 60, 64, 184
Tristram, Canon, 43, 150
Tunbridge Wells, Bickersteth a
curacy at, 19
Unitarians, Bickersteth s attitude
Vansittart, 12, 13
Vaughan, Dean, cited, 42
Venn, Henry, 85
description of, 4
Bickersteth s life at, 5-7
Ward, Mrs. (sister), authoress of
".Doing and Suffering," 11 ;
death of, 88
Warren, Archdeacon, 160
Weitbrecht, Rev. H. U., 146
Westcott, Bp., 12, 204 ; comparison
of, with Lightfoot, 42; letter
from, 98 note
Whitmore, Lady Lucy, 9
Wigram, Rev. F. E., 165
Wilberforce cited, 41
Wilkinson, Bp., 40, 49
Wilson, William Carus, 8
Winter, Rev. R. R. and Mrs., 143
Wright, Rev. Henry, 33, 46
"Yesterday, To-day and For
American appreciation of, 30, 37,
Yesterday, To-day, etc. continued.
analysis of, 102-111
cheaper issue of, 42-43
circulation of, 112
design of, 100
estimate of, 100 ; by J. H. New
quotations from, 102-111
read to H.R.H. Prince of Wales,
otherwise mentioned, 25, 41, 150
PEIKTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AKD SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BKCCLKS.